12 December 2014
What Do Category 5 Hurricanes Have To Do With The Amazon River?
Posted by Dan Satterfield
This freshwater plume inhibits the mixing of colder water beneath the surface, and thus can add a lot of heat to an already powerful hurricane. The NASA Aquarius satellite has a sensor that can measure ocean surface salinity, and it’s data produced the the video below. A paper about this plume and how it can affect hurricanes was published in Geophysical research Letters in 2012. It’s free to read here. (LINK FIXED!)
We looked at how hurricane surges in US since 1923 was related to warming patterns. We found a remarkable relationship near the Amazon, but did not dwell on it in our paper.
This fresh water plume could be a possible explanation for why historical US hurricane surges appear to be strongly related to Amazonian temperatures (& precipitation changes).
Figure 2 with Amazonian teleconnection pattern: http://minus.com/i/bjrV3zferfZw8
The gridded temperature projection from that paper is taking changes in Amazon climate into account.