According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Queensland, tropical cyclones could have an increased destructive power by the end of the century as they move into a warmer environment.
The study indicates that as tropical cyclones move to the poles, they could have 20 percent more storm surges and 50 percent more coastal floods, while they could also cause 20 percent more storm winds, according to Dr. Michael Quinn of the Centre for Southern Cross Research.
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According to Quinn, research has determined that cyclones currently occur at a minimum temperature of 60 degrees, and as temperatures increase, that threshold is likely to move closer to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the Australian Research Council, sea levels are also rising at the same rate as the thermostat.
The Climate Council reports that as of 2010, sea levels were rising about 0.2 inches per year. By the end of the century, the council estimates a sea level rise of 2.5 feet or greater.
“Sea level rise means that the region will no longer be able to escape major impacts from storm surges, coastal flooding, and storm winds. The entire north-east Pacific region, which is so small that it is not subject to any individual weather systems, will be affected,” said Dr. Mark Brash of the University of Queensland.
The report was published Feb. 9 in the journal Water Resources Research.