Tampa and Dubai Becoming Increasingly Vulnerable to Rare, Dangerous ‘Grey Swan’ Superstorms

TAMPA, FL - JULY 12:  The city of Tampa's downtown skyline is seen on July 12, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Tampa will play host the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30 where the party is expected to officially nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as their nominee to face President Barack Obama in November in the general election. The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories as well as scores of journalists, guests and protesters. (PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – JULY 12: The city of Tampa’s downtown skyline is seen on July 12, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Tampa will play host the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30 where the party is expected to officially nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as their nominee to face President Barack Obama in November in the general election. The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories as well as scores of journalists, guests and protesters. (PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Cities such as Tampa and Dubai will become increasingly vulnerable to rare, global-warming-fueled superstorms in the future, according to a new study.

Scientists have dubbed such phenomena “grey swan” storms. The name is meant as a comparison to the term “black swan,” which are unpredicted events that have a major impact. Although “grey swans” are highly unlikely, they can still be predicted with some level of confidence, researchers said in the study published Monday.

The study, which looked at tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons), said the likelihood of the “grey swans” will increase due to man-made climate change, as warmer seawater will up the chances of the storms forming. Such storms need water of at least 80 degrees to develop.

The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change and was led by Ning Lin of Princeton and Kerry Emmanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a noted hurricane expert.

Researchers used computer models and past storm records to make their predictions of how often these big storms might hit.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice

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