As students in my "Hands-On Geography" classes know, physical geography includes ocean currents, wind currents, and climate. Scientists studying the interaction between ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions now believe we may see the emergence of Category 6 storms before the end of the century.
"In little more than a day, Hurricane Florence exploded in strength, jumping from a Category 1 to a Category 4 behemoth with 140 mph winds. This process — hurricanes intensifying fast — is both extremely dangerous and poorly understood. But new research says that as the climate continues to warm, storms will do it faster and more often, and in some extreme cases, grow so powerful that they might arguably be labeled 'Category 6.' ... 'The reason there are going to be more major hurricanes is not necessarily there are going to be that many more storms … it’s really the fact that those storms are going to get there faster,” said Kieran Bhatia, lead author of the new research in the Journal of Climate. ... We've already seen the signs, in the past several years, of ultra-intense hurricanes that get that way by explosively intensifying. Last year's Hurricane Maria, for instance, spun up from a mere tropical depression into a Category 5 storm in just over two days."
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