Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

The Super-Hot Atlantic

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

atlanticsst_ams_2010152-415px-300x200.jpg

And no, I don't mean sexy. This is a NASA image from the start of hurricane season, showing the sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and especially in the main hurricane development region. I got the image from this great analysis over at the WWF Climate Blog, which is mainly devoted to summarizing a recent congressional briefing on why we very likely have a really bad hurricane year to look forward to. Some observations that emerged from that meeting:

* We've never had a pre-season forecast of 23 storms before. Let's hope that is an overshot, rather than an undershot.

* The Atlantic is even hotter than it was before the devastating 2005 hurricane season.

* Oh yeah, and there's oil out there. (The title of the briefing was "Hurricanes and Oil Will Mix: Managing Risk Now.")

How much of the Atlantic's current, alarming temperature has to do with global warming? Well, listen to Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research:

When asked about the degree to which rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere were contributing to the trend of rising sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Holland said the temperatures could not be explained without accounting for rising GHG concentrations. He said that while some researchers thought the rising GHG levels might account for 60-80% of the temperature anomaly, he estimated that about half was due to rising GHGs.

I get the feeling we may have a summer for climate change coming, just as 2005 was, and just as 1988 was.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In