Friday, May 05, 2006

Warmer Atlantic may increase hurricane intensity

Photo: Associated Press.

We already knew this, right? The Washington Post:

In the journal Climate, NOAA scientists determined that human activity has helped warm the area of the tropical Atlantic where many hurricanes originate. The paper, by scientists at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., concluded that human-induced warming "in various tropical ocean basins" could affect the intensity of hurricanes stemming from the region.

A government study released yesterday undermines one of the key arguments of climate change skeptics, concluding there is no statistically significant conflict between measures of global warming on the earth's surface and in the atmosphere. ...

Rafe Pomerance, chairman of the Climate Policy Center, a group that advocates mandatory curbs on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming, said the new report settles the scientific debate over humans' role.

"This puts the nail in the coffin of [the skeptics'] argument as much as anything I've seen," Pomerance said. "It may not be the first time it's been said, but it's the clearest I've seen it stated coming out of a government agency. Game over."

In addition to worrying about global warming and stronger hurricanes, equatorial diseases are now moving into more northern latitudes. West Nile virus infections have reached Canada.

Since 1999, there have been over 19,655 cases of West Nile virus in the United States, and 782 deaths. In Canada, the first cases appeared in 2002. There have now been 2,153 cases in Canada, and 46 deaths.


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