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Sunday, November 10, 2013
Although it is too early to pass any judgements on the potential causes for super typhoon Haiyan but yet we must keep in mind the warnings of the climate scientists about some of the possible effects of warmer oceans .
A fairly normal typhoon season in the
western Pacific has spawned a real monster—supertyphoon Haiyan—which
made landfall in the Philippines at around 5 a.m. local time.
The storm, described by some as "tropical cyclone perfection" and "off the charts,"
packed sustained winds of 195 miles (315 kilometers per hour), with
gusts as strong as 235 miles (380 kilometers per hour). Experts predict
the typhoon—also known as Yolanda in the Philippines—could end up being
the strongest storm to ever make landfall since modern record-keeping
began, according to The Washington Post.
are several environmental factors that play into how strong a storm can
get, Kossin explained. The storms thrive on warm water that goes deep
into the ocean and consistent wind speeds in the atmosphere, he said.
"When all those things align in a certain way, then you're going to get something like [Haiyan]," Kossin added.
More Storms on the Horizon
is a strange storm in both its strength and because it comes very late
in the typhoon season, which officially ended November 1, said Colin Price, head of the geophysical, atmospheric, and planetary sciences department at Tel Aviv University in Israel.
the overall number of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons—all the same
weather phenomenon—hasn't increased over the past decades, the
proportion of more intense storms has, Price explained.
typhoons feed off the warm ocean waters," he said. The moisture-laden
air above these regions is the fuel that fires the engines in these
"We've seen in the past decades the oceans are
warming up, likely due to climate change," said Price. "So warmer oceans
will give us more energy for these storms, likely resulting in more
Haiyan dipped down near the Equator, where it likely picked up some more steam, before heading to the Philippines, he said.
It's similar to what happened when Hurricane Katrina picked up steam as it passed over the warm pool of water in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2005.