Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cyclone Amphan

Cyclone Amphan has made landfall in eastern India and Bangladesh, killing people as it lashed coastal areas with ferocious wind and rain. Trees were uprooted and homes toppled in both countries, including in the Indian city of Kolkata in West Bengal. Nearly three million people were evacuated - most of them in Bangladesh - before the severe storm hit. The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. It was moving with winds gusting up to 185km/h (115mph). Though its winds have now weakened, it is still classified as a very severe cyclone.   

Tropical cyclones have become more intense around the globe in the past four decades, with more destructive storms forming more often, according to a study that further confirms the theory that warming oceans would drive more dangerous cyclones. Analysis of satellite records from 1979 to 2017 found a clear rise in the most destructive cyclones – also known as hurricanes or typhoons – that deliver sustained winds in excess of about 185km/h. Experts told Guardian Australia the finding was in line with climate model predictions and the knowledge that increasing ocean temperatures gave tropical storms more energy.

Dr Hamish Ramsay, a senior research scientist at CSIRO who studies cyclones, said: “This study confirms what the climate models have been pAmphanredicting for some time – that the proportion of the most intense storms will increase as the climate warms.” Ramsay said as well as increasing the wind speeds in cyclones, warming oceans would also likely see cyclones delivering more rainfall. There was still uncertainty as to whether the numbers of all categories of cyclones would rise or fall under climate change.

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