Hurricane Harvey rainfall 'weighed 127bn tonnes' | 2017-12-14 |

Hurricane Harvey rainfall 'weighed 127bn tonnes'

Sun Online Desk     14th December, 2017 08:41:18 printer

Hurricane Harvey rainfall 'weighed 127bn tonnes'



Scientists have weighed the water that fell on Texas during the record-breaking Hurricane Harvey in August.


They calculate, by measuring how much the Earth was compressed, that the Category 4 storm dropped 127 billion tonnes, or 34 trillion gallons.


His numbers were released as other scientists stated that this year's big hurricanes had a clear human influence.


Harvey, Irma and Maria ripped through the US Gulf states and the Caribbean, leading to widespread flooding and wind damage.


Researchers told the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union here in New Orleans that the heavy rainfall seen in Harvey was very likely exacerbated by the extra warming associated with increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


Sea surface temperatures were particularly high in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico this hurricane season. Warm ocean water acts as a fuel for the storms.


Harvey devastated parts of the Texas coastline because it stalled, concentrating its deluge in a very narrow region. It was one of the heaviest precipitation events in recorded hurricane history.


Standard rain gauges recorded upwards of 1,270mm (50 inches) of precipitation in places. This was detected by a network of high-precision GPS stations.


The GPS network is dense enough that a very wide picture of activity can be discerned.


The American Meteorological Association revealed that its annual report on extreme weather events had identified three that would “not have been possible” without the influence of human-induced climate change.


These were: the record-breaking global temperatures in 2016; the 2016 heat wave across Asia and the high ocean temperatures measured off the coast of Alaska.


The report also concluded that other heat waves around the world were made more intense by climate change and that Arctic warming was “most likely” not possible without it, reports BBC.