The prestigious researcher Kerry Emanuel (Ohio, 1955) has received this Wednesday the Frontiers of Knowledge Award, in the category of climate Change, awarded by the BBVA Foundation, in its twelfth edition. The jury has opted for the u.s., among more than 70 candidates, for their "fundamental contributions" to the understanding of the physics of hurricanes and to relate successfully to the warming and the increasing intensity of these phenomena. The current evidence corroborate the predictions of Emanuel, made in the late 80's, in which we saw greater strength in the cyclones due to climate change. The award winner receives a prize of 400,000 euros.
in Addition to clarify how to operate the hurricane, the models of the researcher to predict an increase of 5% in the intensity of the same –that is to say, the speed of the wind– for every one degree more in the ocean. “A warming of three degrees would mean hurricanes a 15% more intense. And if we measure it by calculating the cube of the wind speed, our estimate is that their potential to cause damage to increase by between 40 and 50%”, has been alerted through a video conference.
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Emanuel has insisted on the need to reduce carbon emissions and has an impact on the harmful effects for the population: “The most intense hurricanes today can have a wind speed at the surface of 85 meters per second, but by the end of this century, if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, we could see an increase of up to 90-92 meters per second". And he adds: "The destructive power of a hurricane is determined by the speed of the wind, so that is expected to increase very significantly in the ability to cause damage to the populations.”
The author of more than 200 scientific articles and has insisted also in the expansion of the hurricanes to other areas of the planet. In the Mediterranean, they would produce the so-called medicanes, that Emanuel studied during a sabbatical year at the University of the Balearic Islands in 2005 along with the researcher Romualdo Romero. “We're already looking at a geographical expansion of the hurricane”, points out. “We investigated specifically the impact of climate change on the medicanes. Our observations indicate that, in effect, as the Mediterranean is warm, we can expect a higher incidence of these hurricanes. Occur in conditions somewhat different from those of tropical cyclones, but basically it is the same phenomenon”.Updated Date: 08 January 2020, 15:00