The Mediterranean will have more severe hurricanes with stronger wind and rain
Researchers at the UCLM warn about the most dangerous medicans (Mediterranean hurricanes) towards the end of this century
11/03/2019
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Researchers at the UCLM warn about the most dangerous medicans (Mediterranean hurricanes) towards the end of this century
11/03/2019
Research carried out by scientists at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) in collaboration with the University of Princeton and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (NOAA) of the United States, forecast that, towards the end of this century and mainly in autumn, there will be more severe hurricanes in the Mediterranean, with stronger winds and rain, which would pose "a serious risk for densely populated areas on the coasts".

Medicanes arise from typical squalls , which on arrival or when they form in the Mediterranean become special and start to take on certain tropical features, that is, they begin resembling tropical cyclones, and some of them , at a developed stage, even look like hurricanes, although they are not so intense, last less time and are smaller in size", explained the geophysicist, Juan Jesús González Alemán. "They are normally winds in the tropical storm category and very rarely do they reach category one hurricanes. They are also usually associated with intense precipitations and a rough sea", he added.

These phenomena usually affect society by way of loss of human lives and, material damage, above all. For example, it was estimated that medicane Numa (November 2017) caused financial losses of around one hundred million dollars. Therefore, "it is important to understand how global warming could affect these", the researcher stated. However,” they still pose a challenge, since numerical simulations to study this relationship have had certain restrictions to them such as low resolution and/or little data on atmosphere-sea interactions", he pointed out.

Funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the European Union and the National Science Foundation (the United States), amongst other institutions, the aim of the recently published research "is to improve our understanding with better methodology and to provide an original analysis in which new features are studied”. In this respect, the team has used a global and combined model (with the sea/ocean) has a 25 kilometre resolution and which has been developed recently.

The main conclusion drawn is that towards the end of this century and, mainly in autumn, the Mediterranean hurricanes or medicanes, despite being less frequent, "will become potentially more dangerous , with stronger winds and more rain". Therefore, should global warming continue, " risks linked to medicanes will increase, with possible natural and socio-economic consequences”.

UCLM Communication Office Toledo, 22nd of February 2019.

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