What is a hurricane?


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We just experienced it for a fews days. Gusty winds, bitter cold, torrential rain. Many places got destroyed, trees are blocking the roads, power is still out. We all know why this happened...Hurricane Sandy. 
     Generally when people refer to a hurricane they think of what I just described. Destruction, rain, wind, cold. But what exactly is a hurricane? A hurricane is a type of tropical storm (hurricane.com) A hurricane is a low pressure system that generally starts in tropical places and then makes its way to land where it destroys. The reason that hurricanes start in tropical places is because in order for a hurricane to form it needs warm water and moist just because a place has moist air and warm water does not mean that you should always be scared that a hurricane is going to occur.  These two conditions make tropical places such as the Caribbean perfect places for a hurricane to begin. air.However when you go on vacation to the Caribbean or any other tropical place, you should not be afraid that a hurricane is going to occur.
     The reason a hurricane starts is because the moist air from the surface of the water begins to rise at a very quick rate. Then the warm water comes in contact with cooler air which causes the water to condense.Then storm clouds form.  (about.com) This cycle continues to occur and then the storm develops fast winds. Having wind, however, does not make a storm a hurricane. The wind will collide near the surface of the water which creates faster winds. At the same time  the rising warm water is pulled away from the center and creates the cyclone pattern.  According to about.com, a hurricane is officially considered a hurricane once the winds reach a speed of 74 mph. 
      Over the years the world has encountered countless amounts of hurricanes. Some are more well known because of their destruction such as Katrine, but there are also many hurricanes that are not as well known because they are not as powerful.  
    A hurricane is based on a scale system. The categories are based on how fast the wind is based on miles per hour. Hurricane Sandy was a category 2 at maximum, then minimizing to a category 1, then eventually just a tropical storm. Hurricane Sandy is considered to be the largest Atlantic Hurricane on record. It caused countless destruction in many places in the Northeast of the United States especially New jersey and New York. 

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1 Comment

I am a strong believer that hurricanes and natural disasters in general are becoming more common because of climate change. Climate change is causing the oceans to move forward. Global sea levels have risen about seven inches over the past century and that pace is accelerating (source). Not only does this threaten coastal regions, but it also makes storm surges much worse. The only solution I see to reduce the rate of sea-level rising is to treat our atmosphere better by reducing our emissions. Sandy amplified the need to more aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better protect coastal infrastructure. As destructive as hurricanes are I think it's for the well-being of humanity to accept that we can't keep going the way we are (polluting, deforestation etc) and we must do something about it. Failure to take action now to lower atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases is likely to lead to more frequent and severe hurricanes in the future.

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