Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hurricanes and Climate Change: NCAR Launches Intensive Study into Future Hurricane Risk

Zooming in on future climate.

October 08, 2008-- NCAR scientists are using a combination of weather and climate computer models to simulate the atmosphere in three dimensions at resolutions ranging from about 20 miles across a large part of the Northern Hemisphere to as fine as 2.5 miles in targeted areas of North America (red boxes).
This strategy enables scientists to forecast future climate in detail for specific regions without overloading existing supercomputing resources.

BOULDER—The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), working with federal agencies and universities as well as the insurance and energy industries, has launched an intensive study to examine how global warming will influence hurricanes in the next few decades. The goal of the project is to better inform coastal communities, offshore drilling operations, and other interests that could be affected by changes in hurricanes.

The project will use a combination of global climate and regional weather models, run on one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, to look at future hurricane activity in unprecedented detail. Researchers are targeting the hurricane-prone Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to assess the likely changes, between now and the middle of the century, in the frequency, intensity, and paths of these powerful storms. Initial results are expected early next year. More >>>