Environment

Increasing Hurricane Intensity Around Bermuda Linked to Rising Ocean Temperatures

New research shows that hurricane maximum wind speeds in the subtropical Atlantic around Bermuda have more than doubled on average over the last 60 years due to rising ocean temperatures in the region.

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Hurricanes intensify by extracting energy from the warm ocean surface via air-sea heat fluxes, so a warmer ocean can lead to more intense hurricanes.

Improving predictions of wind speeds from hurricanes will help determine the right level of response in advance of the storm and potentially limit the resulting damage in Bermuda.

Between 1955 and 2019 mean hurricane intensity near Bermuda, measured by the maximum wind speed, increased from 35 to 73mph - equivalent to over 6mph per decade. At the same time sea surface and sub surface temperatures in the region increase by upto 1.1°C, providing the additional energy for hurricanes to intensify.

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