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  • Saturday, December 9, 2006
    The year 2005 was a record-breaking one for Atlantic hurricanes, with the most named storms, the most hurricanes and the most Category-five hurricanes occurring—with New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast being nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. In terms of barometric pressure, the Atlantic Basin also experienced its most intense hurricane ever that year, Hurricane Wilma.

    Some studies reveal that tropical storms around the world are intensifying, with computer models suggesting a shift toward extreme intensity. A big question on many minds is, “Does the warming of the earth have a direct effect on the strength of hurricanes?” Opinions are varied.

    Scientists caution that one must consider questions of climate change over decades, even centuries. A particularly rough hurricane season or two cannot be blamed on global warming.

    Preliminary evidence suggests that, once hurricanes form, they will be stronger if the oceans are warmer. However, much uncertainty exists about whether hurricanes and other storms will become more frequent.

    According to the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, which assesses natural climate variability, “The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth’s climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricanes will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions.” This is based upon an anticipated increase of energy from higher sea surface temperatures.

    A study published in the Journal of Climate indicates that an 80-year buildup of atmospheric CO2 at 1% per year (compounded) leads to roughly a one-half category increase in potential hurricane intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and an 18% increase in precipitation near the hurricane’s core. Of course, if emissions of CO2, along with other greenhouse gases, were to be higher, then hurricanes could potentially become even stronger.

    However, many other scientists are quick to point out that since the 1940s, there has been an overall decrease in hurricane activity. According to the United Nations Environment Program of the World Meteorological Organization, “Reliable data…since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased” (CNSNews).

    In September 2004, in response to some labeling the busy hurricane season a byproduct of global warming, a group of climatologists, scientists, professors and other experts in climate change stated, “Computer simulations suggest that in a warmer world most of the warming would occur in the Polar Regions. Atmospheric circulation, which crucially affects storms, is driven primarily by the temperature difference, or gradient, between the tropics and the poles.

    “Warmer polar regions would reduce this gradient and thus lessen the overall intensity or frequency or both of storms—not just tropical storms but mid-latitude winter storms as well (such as blizzards and northeasters).

    “Again, longer periods of history bear this out. In the past, warmer periods have seen a decline in the number and severity of storms. This is well-documented in scientific journals for data extending back centuries or even millennia. If the surface temperature of the planet rises further in the future, it is likely that these declines will continue” (ibid.).

    Some researchers believe other factors—including La Niña and other big weather systems—will overpower any effect global warming might have on hurricanes.

    Certainty Does Exist
    Global warming does in fact pose a real danger to mankind. Will human beings be able to find a solution? Or will it lead to cataclysmic events?

    The Bible reveals that in the near future, there is coming a time of great distress upon the earth: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).

    In the book of Matthew, Jesus Christ reveals more, stating that this time will be unlike any other in history: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [meaning mankind would become extinct]” (24:21-22).

    This time of epic destruction—worse than any other in the history of mankind—is certain to come. Undoubtedly, the effects of global warming will play a role in these events; to what degree remains to be seen.

    But beyond the bad news lies the good news—global warming will not result in the extinction of mankind. Human beings will continue to exist, although the earth as we know it will be entirely different! Find out how in our book Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View!

    posted by sasikala at 12:44 PM |