Is catastrophic climate change turning Britain into a hurricane hotspot?

Komali Kantamaneni, Xiaoping Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Uncharacteristically strong storm activity in the UK during recent years has focused attention once again upon climatic impacts. Rapid climate change, which in turn affects sea surface temperatures (SST), ocean circulation, and wind speed patterns, is most likely contributing to these unprecedented and prolonged storm events. Previous studies focused on individual factors rather than cumulative effects of climate change; however, a knowledge gap exists. Consequently, this quantitative study analysed the current influence of climate change on UK sea surface and mean air temperatures, together with mean wind speeds. It also assessed whether climate change scenarios will create favourable conditions for the genesis of catastrophic hurricanes in the UK using a 2-path analysis (SST, wind speed, temperatures). Accordingly, in situ SST, mean wind speed, and mean temperatures for the period 2000–2014 are analysed. Primary results revealed that increasing trends in regional SST (0.1–0.7 °C), mean temperature (0.4–0.8 °C), and wind speed (0.5–2 m/s) patterns. It is expected that significant changes in climate will cause sea surface temperature increases between 1 and 4 °C, which will accelerate temperature and wind speed further. These adverse changes would negatively affect future UK weather patterns and create positive conditions for the formation of super storms and high winds in the near future, although not necessarily hurricanes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569–578
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research
Volume11
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

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