Atlantic hurricane strength is increasing, new study shows



Image copyright PA Image caption The 2020 hurricane season looks set to be an active one too

The impact of global warming continues to be felt in the Atlantic Ocean – creating more storms.

New data has revealed that the strength of Atlantic hurricanes has risen since 1950.

It came as a result of a complicated combination of factors, such as improved forecasts and a weaker chance of colliding storms.

More storms may be on the way. The current season looks set to be an active one.

The year has been relatively quiet so far, but the year to date has also been the sixth warmest in the 200-year period covered by the data.

The reasons for the increase in energy are not yet fully understood. Scientists say the Atlantic Ocean has warmed over the past 20 years and that this “enhances the ability of Atlantic hurricanes to recruit new fuel sources, such as swirling warm water”.

Powerful storms such as hurricanes Irma and Maria caused extensive damage in 2017.

Climate change has been linked to rising sea levels, which flood coastal areas more easily, creating more storm surges.

What’s the best way to prepare?

In a nutshell, the weather is changing – so what can you do to minimise the damage?

Step 1: Prepare your home

A tropical storm or hurricane can cause the equivalent of a major house fire, with property destroyed by heat, wind and rain.

The Met Office advises people to fill containers with water to fill the bathtub and also fill some extra furniture mugs with water.

Plan your evacuation route and have a way to access it. Give your family enough water and food, along with extra clothes, torches and waterproofing material.

Step 2: Make an emergency kit

If an emergency did happen and your home was damaged, a basic kit you can assemble should be kept ready.

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