Climate scientist Aslak Grinsted, Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and colleagues presented a new model of hurricane events that predicts two to ten times as many extreme hurricane storm surges along the U. S. Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of global warming. The research was presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on March 18, 2013.
Grinsted attempted to avoid the uncertainties of the two previous models that correlated hurricane events and temperature changes resulting from global warming by creating a new model that incorporates actual temperature data, El Nino effects, and the severity of individual hurricane events worldwide.
The researchers compared the predictive ability of the new model with the past and achieved a high enough correlation to have confidence in the model’s predictive ability.
"If the temperature rises an additional degree, the frequency will increase by 3-4 times and if the global climate becomes two degrees warmer, there will be about 10 times as many extreme storm surges. This means that there will be a 'Katrina' magnitude storm surge every other year," says Aslak Grinsted.
The super storm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac were the only two of 19 Atlantic hurricanes that caused significant damage to the U. S. in 2012. Predictions of the number of Atlantic hurricanes in 2012 were exceeded by reality.