Tropical Storms and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Winds of 146 miles an hour sometimes happen at sea, but for such strong winds to pass over land is unknown in recorded meteorology. Unfortunately that strength of wind is battering the Philippines as I write these words. Typhoon Haiyan looks like being the strongest ever recorded storm ever to pass over land.

The people of the Philippines are used to strong storms, strong earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and other weather and natural event. This year typhoons in the Pacific Ocean have been less frequent than usual, but the intensity of Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolande in the Philippines) will challenge the people who have the misfortune to live in its path.

Shortly before it reached landfall, Haiyan was recording speeds of around 200 miles an hour.

We need to understand why such a powerful storm has arisen. There is a strong probability that it is connected with the warming ocean, which in turn is caused by the warming of the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect created by the amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions that humans are injecting into the atmosphere. The most recent Monthly atmospheric measurement of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa in September 2013 was 393.52 ppm, compared with 391.06 ppm a year earlier in September 2012.

The mean growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa is more than two parts per million. If this growth rate continues we shall reach (at Mauna Loa, a place hardly contaminated by human activity, the dreaded 400 ppm which climate scientists see as a critical level.

2 Responses

  1. An alternative to the carbon lies.

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