LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) – A new NASA study shows that warming tropical oceans due to climate change could lead to a substantial increase in the frequency of extreme rainstorms by the end of the century.
The research team, led by Hartmut Aumann of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Analyzed 15 years of data acquired by the NASA Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on the tropical oceans to determine the relationship between the average surface temperature of the early stormy sea.
They found that extreme storms, which produced at least three millimeters of rain per hour over an area of 25 km, were formed when the sea surface temperature was above 28 degrees Celsius, according to the JPL launch on Tuesday, market.
The team also found that 21 percent more storms form for every degree that ocean surface temperatures rise.
Aumann said severe storms will increase in a warmer environment. Thunderstorms usually occur in the hottest season of the year.
"Our data provide the first quantitative estimate of how much they can increase, at least for the tropical oceans," Aumann said.
The currently accepted climate models project that with a steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is 1% per year, the surface temperatures of the tropical oceans can rise to 2.7 degrees by the end of the century, the team .
If that happens, the frequency of extreme storms is expected to increase by up to 60%, according to the study.
"Our results quantify and give a more visual meaning to the consequences of the predicted warming of the oceans," Aumann said. "More storms mean more flooding, more damage to the structure, more damage to plantations and so on, unless mitigation measures are implemented."