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USA’s Northeastern Coast Faces Increasing Risk Of Powerful Hurricanes Due To Human Activity

First Posted: Nov 26, 2016 03:30 AM EST

The northeastern coast of the USA could be subject to more frequent and stronger hurricanes in the future as a result of shifting weather patterns, according to a recent research conducted by U.K.'s Durham University. The study found that over the past few hundred years, hurricanes have slowly shifted northward -- from the western Caribbean toward North America.

As per experts, the expansion of the atmospheric circulation belts due to increasing carbon dioxide belts has caused the change in hurricanes' tracks. Furthermore, New York and other big cities located in the USA's northeastern coast could face more threat from these severe and powerful storms. Therefore, the areas in question should also be better prepared for the future threat, the researchers suggested in their findings that has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

According to Laboratory, lead author Dr. Lisa Baldini said that the gradual shift in the hurricanes' tracks has been primarily caused by manmade emissions. "Aerosols from volcanoes and industrialization in the Northern Hemisphere have a cooling effect, which tend to shift moisture belts and hurricane tracks southward, closer to the equator," added Dr. Amy Frappier, co-author of the study.

"On the other hand, warming from more carbon dioxide in the air tends to expand the Earth's tropical belt, pushing hurricane tracks further north away from the western Caribbean and towards the Northeastern US. This suggests that the tracks of Atlantic hurricanes have responded more to warming than to regional cooling."

The researchers have also suggested that it is important to put plans in place to protect against such devastating storms that have the potential of occurring at a higher rate in the future. The experts have also drawn parallels with the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to show the magnitude of the possible future storms and the dangers posed by them.

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