- CNTV English - CCTV News

US devastated hurricane: Impact of climate change and global warming?

06-01-2011 09:23 BJT

Watch Video

Play Video

This week marks the beginning of the hurricane season in the United States and scientists will be watching closely in the wake of the extreme weather patterns that have devastated the Midwest. One of the questions they're trying to answer focuses on the impact of climate change and global warming.

Deadly tornadoes and record-high rainfall have cut a path of death and destruction throughout the US midwest in recent weeks. The region is known for such weather, but this year has been extreme.

According to Scientists, one of the reasons may lie far away near the equator in the Pacific Ocean.

It's known as La Nina, a condition where ocean surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are cooler than normal.

When La Nina is in affect, it can shift weather patterns all over the planet and, according to Professor Brian Soden at the University of Miami, create perfect conditions for extreme weather.

He said, "In a La Nina event, it actually makes the atmosphere over the Atlantic more unstable which is more conducive to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes."

Soden and his colleague, Professor Ben Kirtman, are keeping a close watch over the current La Nina. They say if equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures do not rise, it could mean a more intense Atlantic hurricane season.

Over the long-term, they say global warming and climate change might also come into play with global weather patterns.

He said, "You can expect things as the climate warms to see more frequent extreme rainfall events, more frequent droughts. So, in terms of the precipitation you get an increase in the severity of the extremes. You can also expect to see more frequent heat waves. But again, these things become apparent on the decade to decade time scales."

But there is some disagreement over the issue of climate change, which is why it's the subject of intensive research around the world.

Ben Kirtman, Oceanology Dept., Miami Uni., said, "We don't know how global warming will affect El Nino and La Nina. Are models are very much in disagreement, our understanding of the impacts of climate change on what is going to happen to El Nino is in its most immature state. This is a very contested hot research topic and the answer is we just don't know."

Both scientists say that computational models of weather patterns are improving and that one day science will be able to save lives by better predicting and tracking extreme weather.


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program