Wednesday, August 1

Rock me like a carbon-fueled hurricane

A study published earlier this week from scientists out of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, and Georgia Tech offers a strong analysis of Atlantic Ocean hurricane activity and the increase of storms due to rising carbon emissions and global warming. While most atmospheric scientists and climatologists acknowledge what Lisa Simpson might call that "irritating truth" that human-caused climate change is actually happening, researchers are still forming conclusions about how that trend is influencing the number and intensity of hurricanes through ocean temperatures. The new study seems to be another mark that links Hummers and hurricanes.

The Chronicle recently peeked at this debate amid a longer feature on one Colorado State University prof's scheme to dust back hurricanes, literally ("The why of the storm," June 14). Dr. Bill Cotton has run a model showing that a massive dirt-drop on a hurricane, simulating a desert dust storm, might be able to reduce hurricane intensity. But Cotton himself isn't convinced global warming is happening, let alone causing bigger and more frequent storms.

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