Hurricanes often remain dangerously intense quite a distance inland from where they go ashore. Has the rate of hurricane decay over land decreased due to climate change?
George Kalinka, Naperville
A new study by Lin Li and Pinaki Chakraborty, published in the Nov. 12 issue of Nature Magazine investigates this very issue. After studying landfalling Atlantic hurricanes during the past 50 years, they concluded that post-landfall hurricane decay has slowed, with the decrease directly proportional to the rise in sea surface temperature. They found that in the late 1960s, a typical hurricane lost about 75% of its intensity during the first day after landfall, and now that decay has decreased to 50%. Their conclusion; as the world warms, destruction from hurricanes will extend farther inland.