If you’re heading to Disney World during the summer months, you’ll still need to worry about Park Passes, hotel reservations, dining selections, Mobile Order, Genie+, and other things, but you’ll also have another important thing to think about — hurricanes.
Hurricanes can impact Orlando and could affect your trip, bringing strong winds and large amounts of rain. Some hurricanes have even led to reduced hours in the parks or a park closure. We’ve already shared that 2022 is expected to see a LOT of hurricanes, which could affect Disney World, but just what is going on that might be causing this large amount of hurricanes in the Atlantic? We’ve got some updates.
According to CNN, a new study that was recently published in the Science Advances journal found that “over the past four decades, a 50% decrease in aerosols — tiny particles of air pollution — over North America and Europe led to a 33% increase in the number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic.”
In other words, as CNN puts it, some of the efforts made to reduce air pollution have had the unintended consequence of increasing tropical storms in certain regions.
The study also noted that a decrease in aerosols over Europe and the United States led to DECREASES in tropical cyclone activity over the Southern Hemisphere.
The study also found that a “40% increase in aerosol pollution in China and India over the same time period sparked a 14% decline in the number of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific.”
The lead author of the study, Hiro Murakami, shared, “Decreasing aerosol emissions is something that’s good for human health; but on the other hand, we found there are some bad effects when we reduce aerosol emissions — and that is hurricane activity.”
Aerosols are different than greenhouse gases. Aerosols are “tiny particles of pollution that float in the air” and they actually reflect sunlight back to space, which leads to a cooling effect. That’s different than carbon dioxide or methane, which actually absorb sunlight, having a warming effect.
Murakami found that as aerosol pollution decreased, the ocean was able to absorb more sunlight. That has lead to warmer sea surfaces, which can fuel more tropical storms.
But Murakami warns that the results of this study don’t mean that we should stop trying to control air pollution. Murakami said, “Aerosol decrease may lead to good health, but on the other hand, hurricane risk increases. This is where good things accompany bad things. It’s kind of like pros and cons.”
A senior hurricane scientist at the Clime Service, Jim Kossin, reviewed the study and said that “this steady warming of the ocean that’s been happening in the Atlantic because of the combination of greenhouse gas increases and the particulate pollution decreases, that has a profound effect.”
Individuals have suggested that further research should be conducted on the sensitivity of these results with a range of uncertainties related to aerosol.
CNN shares that Murakami predicts “that aerosol pollution will remain stable, so greenhouse gas emissions will start to have a stronger influence on hurricanes over time — particularly on their intensity.”
Murakami also warned that what we’ve seen over the past years may not be applied to the future because “climate science is very complex and it’s a work in progress.” So things are subject to change.
The study shares that “it is important to emphasize that changes in anthropogenic aerosols, as well as greenhouse gases, apparently can exert substantial impacts on global [tropical cyclone] activity, which delivers an important message to society regarding the seriousness of the impacts our activities are having and therefore the political decisions we make in the future in terms of changes in emissions and their potential impacts on TC activity on the global scale.”
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates regarding hurricane activity in the Atlantic in 2022 and how that could impact your Disney World trip. Check back with us for all the latest details.
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Have you ever been to Disney World during a hurricane? Tell us in the comments!