Increasing hurricane damages

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:53 PM GMT on December 05, 2008

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A conference called the Hurricane Science for Safety Leadership Forum convened this week in Orlando to look at how we can better prepare for the inevitable hurricanes in our future. The conference brought together an interesting mix of experts--scientists from environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation, insurance industry representitives, and a representative from the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

There are a number of interesting Powerpoint and video presentations posted on their web site, for those interested. The most eye-opening fact I saw came during a presentation done by Amanda Staudt of the National Wildlife Federation. In her presentation on the policy implication of hurricanes and climate change, she showed that the population of South Florida is projected to grow from a 1990 population of 6.3 million to a 2050 population of 15-30 million people. That's a startling increase in population. Higher and higher hurricane damage tabs are inevitable in coming decades, just from this huge increase in population. She goes further, showing that if the theoretical predictions for global warming by the end of the century come true--a 2-13% increase in hurricane winds due to ocean warming, a 10-31% increase in hurricane rainfall, and an increase in sea level of several feet--there is likely to be a huge increase in hurricane damage, and probably in deaths, as well.

I have a few comments on this. While I believe that hurricane damages will continue to grow primarily because of population increases, higher wealth, and poor land management, the contribution of increased damage due to global warming will start to become significant by the end of the century. The 5% increase in hurricane winds per °C of ocean warming theorized by hurricane researcher Dr. Kerry Emanuel (Emanuel, 2005) may not seem like much, it will make a significant difference in the destructive power of the strongest storms. A Category 4 hurricane does about four times more damage than a Category 3 hurricane, and 250 times more damage than a Category 1 storm (Figure 1). Given the expected increase of tropical sea surface temperatures of 1-2 °C by 2100, hurricane wind speeds should increase by 5-10%. Since the difference in wind speed between a Category 3 and Category 4 hurricane is about 15%, we can anticipate that the strongest hurricanes in 2100 will do 1 1/2 to 3 times more damage than they do now.

This may be an underestimate of the increase in damage, though. Global sea level rose about 0.75 feet last century, and is expected to rise 0.6 - 1.9 feet this century, according to the "official" word on climate, the 2007 report of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A paper published by Pfeffer et al. in Science this year concluded that the IPCC underestimated sea level rise, and that the "most likely" range of sea level rise by 2100 is 2.6 - 6.6 feet. If true, we can expect greatly increased damage from hurricane storm surges. However, it is possible that there will be fewer hurricanes by the end of the century, thanks to an increase in wind shear over the tropical Atlantic (Vecchi and Soden, 2007).


Figure 1. Potential hurricane damage as a function of Saffir-Simpson category for U.S. hurricanes between 1925-1995. If the median damage from a Category 1 hurricane is normalized to be a "one", then Category 2, 3, and 4 hurricanes were 10, 50, and 250 times more damaging, respectively. Data taken from Pielke, Jr. R. A., and C. W. Landsea, 1998: "Normalized Atlantic hurricane damage 1925-1995" Wea. Forecasting, 13, pp.621-631.

Better building codes
Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-MS, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, helped to kick off the conference with opening remarks that underscored his intention to hold Congressional hearings on developing new building codes in hurricane-prone areas. He was hopeful that President-elect Obama and new incoming head of Homeland Security, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, would work to adopt new, tougher building standards. "Take a look at the homes on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas that are still standing after the hurricane," Thompson said. "We know how to build stronger homes. Now we just need to do it." Thompson said that while such legislation had been introduced in the past but failed, chances were better under an Obama administration of passage.

I think it is essential that more stringent and comprehensive building codes get adopted in hurricane alley to reduce the inevitable huge price tags from future hurricanes.

References
Emanuel, K. 2005, "Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years", Nature, 436, 4 August 2005, doi:10.1038/nature03906.

Vecchi, G.A., and B.J. Soden, 2007, "Increased tropical Atlantic wind shear in model projections of global warming", Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L08702, doi:10.1029/2006GL028905, 2007.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 15hurricanes:
SHUT UP!!!!!!!
It’s hard to have a civilized discussion here right now
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Quoting SunriseSteeda:
OMG OMG OMG tears of laughter squirt out of my eyes.

You may wonder who this strange SunriseSteeda person is, and the answer is a strange person that drives a Steeda and lives in Sunrise (and goes to FAU and is a hard-core old-school coder learning newer tricks in order to be dangerous-er).

So here is why I am not lurking (which I have been doing for the last few years) and just HAD to post something.

Who was it that posted about the "pumps" or "pipes" or whatever the heck his idea was, in order to combat Global Warming... so much so that everyone would have loved to have seen him banned outright at the time?

You remember, every day there was another way his solution would mitigate threats like hurricanes and warming.

Well, if you turn to Planet Green right now and you will see the program "Discovery Project Earth", especially the episode "Hungry Ocean".

Guess what they are actually testing?

Ocean pumps to combat Global Warming!

So was our resident madman/troll prescient?

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/lab-books/hungry-oceans/guide1.html

Wow! Who'd a thunkit??? LOL
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Quoting 15hurricanes:
.
whats the matter with this guy?
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oh crap cyclonebuster is going to go ape crap now about his freakin "tunnels". Oh man I hope he doesn't hear about this =/ Unless he actually got someone to listen to his ideas.

I read the article and the theory was a little diffrent then what he wanted to do. They want to cause plankton blooms to combat GW, he wanted to pump colder water up to the surface to combat hurricanes.

Just another way we mess up natural processes and wont know the consiquenses for years to come.
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OMG OMG OMG tears of laughter squirt out of my eyes.

You may wonder who this strange SunriseSteeda person is, and the answer is a strange person that drives a Steeda and lives in Sunrise (and goes to FAU and is a hard-core old-school coder learning newer tricks in order to be dangerous-er).

So here is why I am not lurking (which I have been doing for the last few years) and just HAD to post something.

Who was it that posted about the "pumps" or "pipes" or whatever the heck his idea was, in order to combat Global Warming... so much so that everyone would have loved to have seen him banned outright at the time?

You remember, every day there was another way his solution would mitigate threats like hurricanes and warming.

Well, if you turn to Planet Green right now and you will see the program "Discovery Project Earth", especially the episode "Hungry Ocean".

Guess what they are actually testing?

Ocean pumps to combat Global Warming!

So was our resident madman/troll prescient?

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/lab-books/hungry-oceans/guide1.html

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Rain for next three day in VA or at least according to WU. hope it becomes snow. Either way it should be interesting
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2370
Current Summit Conditions
Temperature -10.5°F
Wind 34.8 mph
Direction 320° (NW)
Gust 43.7 mph
Wind Chill -41.8°F
Monday 2:45 PM

Link
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nice and cold up hear =) was a very windy night for us, recorded at 38mph gust at home

just some flurries came and went this weekend. no snow though. Still waiting on "the" storm. Looks like next weeks storm is going to be on the warm side =/
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afternoon folks =)

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344. GBlet
Looks like our snow will blow to the south, which where I need to be tomorrow, so will be changing plans, otherwise 5hr trip will take 8.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 435
339. GBlet
Vort, that's what happens when you live this close to the A-hole of the U.S.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 435
337. GBlet
Did someone take away 15's meds, cuz the repetition is giving me headache. I wish this storm was going bury me, but looks like it's going crank up east of us like always.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 435
331. GBlet
Good morning! Oh Press you're just too pretty this morning. What pretty lips you have!
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 435
Vort.....Dr. Masters is gonna post an update in the next day or so...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10482
yup.....gonna pose in a bikini this Spring....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10482
ESL by LSU Link
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Red Cross is getting a north shore home
by Charlie Chapple, The Times-Picayune
Sunday December 07, 2008, 8:52 PM Link

After Hurricane Katrina, workers and volunteers with the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross sought haven on the north shore to continue helping victims of flooding and other storm effects in and around New Orleans.

Some of the staff went to Red Cross facilities in Tangipahoa Parish and some were in St. Tammany, said Kay Wilkins, the 13-parish chapter's chief executive officer. "And the rest were scattered around in shelters everywhere," she said.

Thanks to a major donation from a Red Cross-affiliated organization in Kuwait, the chapter soon will have a new permanent regional operations center southwest of Covington where agency officials can relocate during hurricanes and other disasters.

When the $5 million building opens in September, "we will have a place where we can go," Wilkins said. "We will have a sanctuary for our staff."

More importantly, if the region ever has to endure another catastrophe like Katrina, the local Red Cross will have an operations center to better serve the community "before, during and after disasters," Wilkins said.

In addition to St. Tammany and Tangipahoa, the chapter's "community" includes Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Washington, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary and Assumption parishes.

The 21,420-square-foot center, being built in Ashland Oaks Corporate Park along Louisiana 1085, also will serve as the new home for the chapter's north shore branch office, now on Tyler Street in Covington.

"I must be getting old, because my dreams are finally coming true," said Frances Barker, coordinator for the north shore regional office. The Red Cross has had a presence in Covington for 90 years, but always in small, cramped rented offices, Barker said.

The two-story building, designed by Mathes Brierre architects, will have training rooms, an emergency command post, a warehouse for stockpiling shelter supplies, and dining and sleeping facilities for Red Cross staff and volunteers.

The center, being built by Donahue Favret Contractors, will be constructed to withstand 135-mph winds and will be equipped with state-of-the-art communications and computer systems, officials said.

The Northshore Community Foundation is donating money to help equip the center, and the St. Tammany Homebuilders Association is also a sponsor for the project.

But the major financing for the project is through a donation from the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, a volunteer humanitarian organization with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

A representative of the Kuwait group visited the area, including the Mississippi Gulf Coast, after Katrina to watch the work of Red Cross workers and volunteers, Wilkins said.

"He left us with a donation to the Red Cross for $25 million" for the construction of regional disaster centers, Wilkins said.

The money for the chapter's new center is coming from that donation, she said. Construction of the center has begun. On Friday, with backhoes and construction workers in the background, Red Cross and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

Charlie Chapple can be reached at cchapple@timespicayune.com or 985.898.4828.
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320. IKE
Quoting vortfix:
WooooooBaby!!
LMAO


Photobucket


Speaking of cleaning up.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Playboy next for presslord?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting presslord:
I simply can't get over how hot I am....
me either...LMAO!!
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I simply can't get over how hot I am....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10482
315. IKE
Quoting conchygirl:
IKE: If my husband was on here he'd probably be on my ignore list but he doesn't blog. LOL - Suppose I should go and review my Ignore list and clean it up - I really do have a lot of people on it. We had so many trolls this past season.


Yeah we did.

I should probably clean mine up too.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good morning all :) This will be the last update until I get back on the 17th :)

Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site

Now if the weather gods are nice.. I will be tanned and relaxed.. if not.. just relaxed.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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