HOT BLAST: Damage that's difficult to deny
Nov 12, 2013 | 1197 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents cover their noses from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city in the central Philippines on Sunday following Typhoon Haiyan. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Residents cover their noses from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city in the central Philippines on Sunday following Typhoon Haiyan. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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The blog at Foreign Policy has bad news for a region already suffering this weekWhy the Philippines Is Ground Zero for Super Storms ...And Why Recovery Is So Difficult.

Haiyan may prove to be the worst typhoon in history, but, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has noted, global warming is increasing both the frequency and ferocity of extreme weather events like it. The Philippines, situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, already bears the highest risk of natural disasters in the world, after Vanatu and Tonga. And climate change is causing the Philippine sea to rise at an astounding rate of 10mm per year, well over the global average of 3mm per year. Four typhoons have made landfall in the Philippines this year alone, with Haiyan being the third Category 5 typhoon to strike since 2010. Last year, supertyphoon Bopha killed nearly 2,000 people, while in 2011 tropical storm Washi killed 1,000.

Here's more from Scientific American:

Are such storms getting worse in a warming world?They are basically just different names for the same extreme weather phenomena in different parts of the world. These storms are called ‘hurricanes’ In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, "typhoons" in the Northwest Pacific and "cyclones" in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

This is the one-million-dollar question, and there is no scientific consensus on how to answer it yet. Storms receive their energy from the ocean, so it would seem logical that they would get stronger, and perhaps also more frequent, as the upper layers of the tropical oceans warm. Indeed, the potential intensity of tropical storms does increase with warmer sea-surface temperatures. However, the effect of warming seas could be counteracted by the apparent increase in the strength of shear winds—winds blowing in different directions and varying strength at different altitudes. Shear winds tend to hinder the formation of storms, or tear them apart before they can reach extreme strength.

 

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