飓风强度在增加吗?


Are hurricanes getting more severe?伊莎贝尔飓风,a Category 5 storm that hit the East Coast in 2003,looked pretty intense when seen from orbit.
StockTrek/数字视觉/ Getty Images

当涉及到hurricaneintensity is on the rise.The first opinion is that the data is skewed.Hurricane counts were difficult to obtain before satellites began tracking storms in the 1970s,而且,这甚至不能像更先进的计算机跟踪系统那样,在强度评估方面进行后来的增量改进。Once you push back past the 20th century,the estimates grow even dodgier.Many of history's storms likely went completely unrecorded: If they made landfall in unpopulated areas,在海上消失的时候,or were only witnessed by ships whose crews may not have survived to tell the tale,they've been lost to the books.

The second school of thought is that hurricane frequency and intensity wax and wane in a yet-to-be explained cycle,and the current upsurge we're experiencing is simply part of this.Whether the cycle is purely natural,partially attributable to humans or due to some unknown combination of factors is still a matter of debate.

Thirdly,许多科学家,包括2007年在国际气候变化小组任职的所有科学家,认为飓风在每个季节的强度都在稳步增加。They also think that global warming and other atmospheric anomalies are to some extent responsible for that rise.或许数据有些偏离,perhaps natural cycles do contribute some,but by and large,these experts hypothesize that human-caused climate change is the main culprit for increasingly ferocious storms.这是因为飓风的三个基本组成部分之一是温暖的海洋温度。And using data compiled mainly from 1970 on,many researchers have found correlations between rises in sea-surface temperature and surges in the number of powerfully intense hurricanes [sources:伊曼纽尔,巴尔斯].

One study researched data between 1970 and 2004,发现尽管大部分飓风模式在这段时间内波动,the number of very intense storms increased dramatically [source:Webster].

Despite these tantalizing clues,当谈到飓风的严重性时,科学家们似乎还没有就许多问题达成共识。But if the data set is reliable enough,and the cyclical camp is wrong and this isn't just a fierce phase that will eventually pass,the threat of worsening storms coupled with rising sea levels might be enough to make anyone move a little further inland.

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Sources

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