Hurricane Dean, Supertyphoon Sepat

lolDeanHurricane Dean has now officially formed in the Atlantic, and is forecast to intensify into a Category 4 storm before it runs aground, most likely in the Yucatan peninsula. Chris Mooney notes that Dean could intensify into a storm similar to Hurricane Ivan. And while a U.S. strike is unlikely, it's not out of the question, depending on how far north Dean steers.

Mooney also notes the Category 5 Supertyphoon Sepat, which is now west of the Phillipines and heading toward Taiwan and mainland China. Sepat, Mooney says, is a good example of the problems of global warming:

Sepat is currently in a part of the world where many very intense hurricanes form and where the “potential intensity” is often extremely high. In fact, according to potential intensity calculations, Sepat has not yet achieved its theoretical peak (though it’s not too far off, either).

Very few hurricanes achieve their maximum potential intensity, but some do. For this reason, maximum potential intensity theory is a leading reason for believing that global warming should cause the average hurricane to strengthen. Climate change is expected to increase the maximum potential intensity, period. And if it does so, then those storms that achieve their maximum potential will be achieving a higher one than before. By these lights, as global warming sets in we ought to see hurricane intensity records breaking across the globe — and in fact, we have.

Of course, that's just a liberal conspiracy meant to steal people's SUVs and their precious bodily fluids. After all, what harm could a little Category 5 Supertyphoon do? It's not like America's seen a city flooded and destroyed in the last two years, right?

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