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31 January 2019
Beach building is keeping the Atlantic Coast from going under
The artificial build-up of beaches is buffering the U.S. Atlantic coastline against the effects of sea level rise, but that benefit may not last as sand gets harder to come by in the coming decades.
11 January 2019
Barrier island sand dunes recover at different rates after hurricanes
Sand dunes on coastal barrier islands buffer the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts from oncoming hurricanes. Every year, millions of public and private dollars fund the restoration of these barrier islands, but managers often focus on the recovery of smaller sand dunes and aim at making them bigger, for better storm protection. But new research presented at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting last month finds sand dunes on these barrier islands don’t all recover at the same rate. Small dunes go back to becoming small dunes; large dunes recover to be large dunes; and they don’t typically grow larger than they were before the storm struck.
7 May 2018
Powerful hurricanes strengthen faster now than 30 years ago
Hurricanes that intensify rapidly – a characteristic of almost all powerful hurricanes – do so more strongly and quickly now than they did 30 years ago, according to a new study. Many factors are at play, but the chief driver of more rapid hurricane intensification is a natural climate cycle known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) that affects water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean where hurricanes form, according to the study’s authors.
9 January 2018
Study suggests heavy rains from tropical cyclones distort the ground below
Earth’s surface is constantly shifting, expanding and compressing in response to atmospheric and hydrologic forces from aboveground. A new study finds that compression of Earth’s crust is correlated with heavy rainfall from hurricanes and typhoons, known collectively as tropical cyclones. The added weight of all that water likely causes the ground underneath the storm to deform, according to the study’s authors.
22 December 2016
Humidity may cloud sediment deposits used to study storms
Using sediment as an indicator of past hurricanes may not work well in hot, humid environments, a new study finds. The finding could change the way scientists hunt for evidence of past storms, according to the study’s authors.
29 March 2016
New satellite could provide better data for hurricane prediction
The launch of the GOES-R geostationary satellite in October 2016 could herald a new era for predicting hurricanes, a new study finds. The wealth of information from this new satellite, at time and space scales not previously possible, combined with advanced statistical hurricane prediction models, could enable more accurate predictions in the future, according to the researchers.
23 July 2014
Nature’s roadblock to hurricane prediction
The quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 came as a surprise to many, as seasonal forecasts had consistently predicted an unusually large crop of named storms. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds that internal variability—processes that unfold without being dictated by larger-scale features—can make one season twice as active as another, even when El Niño and other large-scale hurricane-shaping elements are unchanged. The results suggest that seasonal hurricane forecasts could be improved by conveying the amount of unavoidable uncertainty in the outlook.