Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hurricane Humberto

Hurricane Humberto isn't making much news, because it's only a Category 1 storm, and it's not expected to cause all that much damage. But there's a wrinkly to the Humberto story that's worth paying attention to:
Texans went to bed Wednesday night expecting to be struck by a tropical storm. They awoke to find they'd been hit by a hurricane instead.

The stunningly fast buildup of what became Hurricane Humberto shocked scientists, some of whom said there was nothing like it in the historical record.

In just 18 hours, Humberto strengthened from a tropical depression with 35-mph winds to a Category 1 hurricane with 85-mph winds before crashing ashore. It did not grow into a hurricane until after midnight.

"That has never before happened" in the more than 150 years scientists have been tracking hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, said James Franklin, a senior specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
"That's never before happened...": words worth thinking about. The truth is that the consequences of such a rapid warming as we are imposing on the planet via GHG emissions are really unknown. All sorts of things that are "outside the realm of the possible" within current climate models are going to happen.

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