What causes tsunamis?

Climate change has led to rising sea levels, making the planet more vulnerable to hazards such as tsunamis. Though considered an uncommon calamity, many areas are facing potential danger such as coastal communities and territories belonging to the Pacific Ring of Fire. Meteorologists such as former KCOY Weatherman Jim Byrne aims to educate people on the causes of this destructive occurrence.

Many factors can trigger tsunamis. Underwater landslides, volcanic eruptions, undersea earthquakes at tectonic plate boundaries, and falling meteorites or asteroids can generate these swelling waves. However, contrary to what most people assume, not all earthquakes can cause tsunamis. These gigantic waves are considered the most dangerous oceanic calamity as it can wipe out communities and cities.

With waves that can be as massive as 100 ft. and can go as long as 100 km, a tsunami can travel as fast as 500 miles per hour. The surging series of waves holds tremendous amounts of energy and can travel miles across oceans without losing its strength. In the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that happened in 2004, 18 nations were affected, leading to thousands of casualties and damages.

Weather professionals like former KCOY Weatherman Jim Byrne suggest that upon hearing a tsunami warning, people should evacuate to a high area that is at least two miles away. For those who live in coastal regions, having an evacuation plan and knowing what to do in case of an earthquake will enable people to quickly respond when disaster strikes.

Jim Byrne is a former KCOY weatherman serving as a consulting meteorologist for the Weather Channel program “So you think you’d survive.” Follow this page for updates.


The connection between carbon emissions and the weather

Temperatures all over the world have been hitting record highs on a yearly basis, creating noticeable changes in weather disturbances. For example, typhoons in the Pacific have now been observed to move slowly than before, while still maintaining the same strength. This means typhoons have become more destructive. Somehow, all these changes have to do with the rising sea levels and the melting polar ice caps.

But where do carbon emissions fit in all of this?

For starters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has reported that 80 percent of the greenhouse gases from the U.S. come in the form of carbon emissions. It’s these emissions that trap solar energy inside the Earth’s atmosphere. What happens after that? Global temperatures rise.

With the higher temperatures, experts at NASA have issued warnings to prepare for more droughts, tropical storms, and wildfires. It has also been discussed that early weather warning systems have to be updated regularly.

And the weather isn’t the only global phenomenon affected. Growing season for crops has been altered along with the slowly adjusting season schedules. And since carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for over two centuries, the planet’s temperature is predicted to steadily increase, leading to a reduction in overall water supply.

But all is not lost. Millions of people and hundreds of big corporations all around the world have made their stand and have continued to do their best in reducing carbon emissions. You should, too.

Weatherman Jim Byrne is a consulting meteorologist at the Weather Channel program “So you think you’d survive.” An alumnus of San Jose State University, he had served as the chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12 and as a freelance weekend meteorologist at NBC Bay Area. Read more on this page.

How is climate change creating stronger storms?

Record-breaking storms usually occur every few decades. But these days, they seem to come one after the other. This is due to climate change and its drastic effect on the Earth’s temperature. But how does climate change create stronger storms?

Image source: abc.net.au

Higher global temperatures, which cause polar ice caps to melt, have led to rising sea level. That and a growing population along major coastlines have exacerbated weather conditions resulting in hurricanes with higher winds and much more precipitation. The results of which created the likes of Hurricane Harvey, which had record-breaking rainfall and caused major flooding and billions of dollars worth of damage.

In some ocean basins, hurricanes have intensified overtime with causes linked to rising ocean temperatures. Every decade since 1970, sea surface temperatures have risen to about 0.1°C per decade. This is also expected to accelerate unless there are solid solutions to global warming.

Another reason for stronger storms is the ocean’s rising sea level due to warmer oceans and expanding sea water. Since the 1900s, sea levels have gone up by 7 to 8 inches. This created bigger problems for coastal towns as storm surges had a higher starting point. The results are higher water levels penetrating deeper inland and in low-lying locations.

Ocean-based hurricanes are also stronger because there is less cold, subsurface ocean water that can weaken hurricanes. If deeper waters become less cold, this breaking mechanism becomes less effective.

Image source: businessinsurance.com

Weatherman Jim Byrne serves as a consultant for the program ‘So you think you’d survive,’ now under the Weather Channel. An alumnus of San Jose State University, he has also served as the chief meteorologist at KCOY CBS-12 and as a weather reporter for NBC Bay Area. For more reads like this, visit this blog.