Cyclone Pam & Vanuatu’s Global Warming future: Fewer but Worse Storms

BBC News | –

“A huge tropical cyclone with winds up to 270km/h (170mph) has devastated parts of the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

Cyclone Pam is being described as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the region with unconfirmed reports that 44 people have been killed.”

Vanuatu: Dozens reported killed in cyclone – BBC News

From the Australian Government’s “Pacific Climate Changes Science” report on Vanuatu:

Vanuatu Tropical Cyclones Global Picture There is a growing level of consistency between models that on a global basis the frequency of tropical cyclones is likely to decrease by the end of the 21st century. The magnitude of the decrease varies from 6%–35% depending on the modelling study. There is also a general agreement between models that there will be an increase in the mean maximum wind speed of cyclones by between 2% and 11% globally, and an increase in rainfall rates of the order of 20% within 100 km of the cyclone centre (Knutson et al., 2010). Thus, the scientific community has a medium level of confidence in these global projections”

3 Responses

  1. Erick Williams

    Although devastated in the recent cyclone, Vanuatu is less vulnerable to sea level rise than other islands (such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Marshall Islands) because most of Vanuatu is volcanic and well above sea level.

  2. Thinking I’ll put more stock in the weather change report commissioned by the Australian government, which warns of more of these record-breaking cyclones in the near future, than I will to the lib-bashers on here and elsewhere.

  3. I know someone who was in the Peace Corps on Batanes Island in the Philippines. He told me that Batanes has long been in a traditional Hurricane Alley. They have traditionally built their houses with hurricanes in mind. The houses are made of stone walls several feet thick with a sacrificial cogon-grass thatch roof which protects from normal weather and blows right off in every hurricane. The stone walls are undisturbed. The people have the minor cost of replacing the sacrificial “lizard’s tail” roof after every hurricane.

    Maybe the Vanuatuans will adopt Batanesian architecture for their emerging hypercane future.

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