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Emanuel on “Living on Earth”

Kerry Emanuel, author of Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, appeared on NPR’s “Living on Earth.”

From the transcript:

Emanuel: It’s quite possible that it isn’t one-way. It may very well be two ways: that the hurricane activity feed back on the climate system. And one of the ways that that can happen is through the effects of hurricanes on the upper ocean, which is really what motivated my Nature study to begin with. They churn cold water to the surface, and they also export heat in the ocean to high latitudes.

So, one of the theories about this feedback would suggest that the effect of hurricanes on global warming itself would be to reduce that warming in the tropics, but to increase it at high latitudes. We think. And if that happens, then the projected warming at the latitudes of, say, New England or Europe, would be more than what is being forecast. But, the warming of the tropical regions would be somewhat less than is forecast.

He also discusses the explosion of building and population density along our coastlines and the potential for a record-setting hurricane season. You can listen to the entire show or just read the transcript. LINK

Also, read Emanuel’s paper in Nature, “Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years” LINK

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