How do Hurricanes Respond to Climate Change?

Cornell University – 2017 Climate Change Seminar by Kerry Emanuel –

Recorded at Cornell University – April 24, 2017

A timely review presented four months before “Harvey” hit Houston.

In the announcement for this 49:44 minute seminar by Dr. Emanuel it was stated:

Hurricanes are sensitive to the Earth’s climate and may also help regulate it. After reviewing observational evidence for how hurricanes are responding to regional and global climate change, I will present an overview of hurricane physics and models and what they have to tell us about the future of hurricane activity as the climate continues to change.

Then I will discuss the more recent and controversial idea that hurricanes play an important role in the climate system by drying the atmosphere and by inducing strong lateral heat fluxes in the ocean.

Spoiler Alert:

He says most emphatically in this video that not only are there expected to be an increase in severe hurricanes due to climate change, but the simple physics of global temperature increases will increase the amount and extent of fresh water flooding.

Too bad that the YouTube video of his presentation was seen by only 91 visitors as on August 28th.

But he’s been saying these things both professionally and publicly since 2012 or before as one can witness in his interview on the NPR NewsHour on September 12, 2012 (How Climate Change Makes Intense Hurricanes ).

Dr. Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist who specializes in moist convection in the atmosphere, and tropical cyclones. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics.

His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, and upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction.

Emanuel received an S.B. degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Ph.D. in Meteorology (1978) both from MIT. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences department of the University of California at Los Angeles where he remained for three years, with a brief hiatus filming tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.