Right now two theories are coming out of the science community. Scientists that believe the last 15 years of intense hurricane activity is due to annual ocillations within a larger hurricane cycle occupy one side of the ring. On the other, we have those that firmly believe that global warming continues to play a role in "supercharging" these storms into tropical cyclones on steroids. And of course we have those in the middle who refuse to sign on to either theory entirely and are comfortable sitting on the fence with their own data to back them up. One thing everyone seems to agree on? That hurricanes have been slamming the eastern coast of the U.S. for the past 15 years in an unusual display of ferocity, frequency and power.
Here's a key fact that I thought backed up the global warming theory:
Well, thats not good news. So it seems everyone also agrees that we'll have more Katrina's and Rita's (and Stans) in the next 2 decades? This cycle, for those that believe this is a natural cycle, one that we've weathered before, will be much longer than previous hurricane cycles or at least ones that were measureable. And if the ocean continues to warm (all theories point to yes thus far) we'll be getting more and more intense storms as well.
"Atlantic waters have been in a warm phase since 1995, and "we can expect to be
in a warm phase for the next 10 to 20 years," said Ryan Boyles, another
hurricane expert at North Carolina State University. "Therefore, we can expect
an above-average number of storms in the next 10 to 20 years."