New research identifies deadly hidden weather hazard that has the potential to affect millions of people

phys.org | 7/12/2019 | Staff
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New research, led by Loughborough University academics, has found that tropical cyclones followed by deadly heat is an emerging weather threat that could put millions of people at risk as global temperatures continue to rise.

Climate scientist Dr. Tom Matthews and Professor Rob Wilby hope their findings will act as a 'stark warning' and raise awareness of the previously hidden hazard so measures can be put in place to protect vulnerable communities.

Possibility - Heatwaves—which - Temperatures - Cyclones - Storm

Until now, little was known about the possibility of deadly heatwaves—which have temperatures that feel like 40.6°C and above—following major tropical cyclones (rapidly rotating, very intense storm systems that form over tropical oceans and have winds of hurricane force).

Dr. Matthews and Professor Wilby, in collaboration with Dr. Conor Murphy, of Maynooth University, examined the tropical cyclone-deadly heat connection as it has serious potential consequences.

Mega-electricity - Blackouts - Cyclones - Typhoon - Haiyan

Mega-electricity blackouts have been known to follow powerful tropical cyclones as with the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan (Philippines), 2017 Hurricane Maria (Puerto Rico) and 2012 Typhoon Bopha (Philippines). These events incurred between 3.2 and 6.1 billion customer hours of lost supply over one or two months.

With around 1.6 billion units in operation, air conditioning reduces vulnerability to extreme heat so populations with a heavy reliance on the units may become highly exposed in the event of power failure.

Threat - Loss - Air - Conditioning - Cyclones

The threat may also extend beyond those with loss of air conditioning as cyclones can leave millions of people without a home and relief housing may not provide safe refuge from extreme heat.

Dr. Matthews, Professor Wilby and Dr. Murphy worked together to assess how likely tropical cyclone-heat events are and were in the recent climate and how this likelihood may change as the earth continues to warm.

Computer - Models - Climates - Weather - Events

They used computer models to generate future possible climates and predict extreme weather events occurring in worlds 1.5°C, 2°C and 4°C warmer than pre-industrial times...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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