Ferocious Atlantic Hurricanes on the Rise, Study Reveals

Atlantic hurricanes are becoming more dangerous than ever before, and they're growing stronger at a rapid pace, a recent study warns.

Over the past few decades, the likelihood of a weak storm rapidly escalating into a Category 3 or higher hurricane within 24 hours has more than doubled.

These rapid intensifications of hurricanes have already caused some of the most costly climate-related disasters in the US.

For instance, Hurricane Maria morphed from a Category 1 to a devastating Category 5 hurricane in less than 24 hours, leaving Puerto Rico in ruins.

Such swift intensifications make it challenging to predict the extent of damage a hurricane will cause and can leave authorities with insufficient time for evacuations.

The study reveals that the risk of rapidly strengthening hurricanes has significantly increased from 2001 to 2020 compared to previous decades.

Higher ocean temperatures, driven by global warming, play a crucial role in this trend. Oceans have absorbed over 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases.

As a result, sea surface temperatures have risen by approximately 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1850, providing more fuel for hurricanes.

Dr. Andra Garner conducted the study by analyzing historical data from the National Hurricane Center, uncovering consistent increases in hurricane rapid intensification over time.

Her research also identified regional variations, with more frequent rapid intensifications along the US East Coast and the southern Caribbean. The Gulf of Mexico showed less intensification.

This study, though not global, adds to a growing body of evidence that rapid-onset major hurricanes are becoming more frequent.

This raises concerns about the future of hurricane forecasting and the importance of addressing climate change.