"When a hurricane hits land, the destruction can be visible for years or even
decades. Less obvious, but also powerful, is the effect hurricanes have on the
In a new study, we show through real-time measurements that hurricanes don’t
just churn water at the surface. They can also push heat deep into the ocean in
ways that can lock it up for years and ultimately affect regions far from the
Heat is the key component of this story. It has long been known that hurricanes
gain their energy from warm sea surface temperatures. This heat helps moist air
near the ocean surface rise like a hot air balloon and form clouds taller than
Mount Everest. This is why hurricanes generally form in tropical regions.
What we discovered is that hurricanes ultimately help warm the ocean, too, by
enhancing its ability to absorb and store heat. And that can have far-reaching
When hurricanes mix heat into the ocean, that heat doesn’t just resurface in
the same place. We showed how underwater waves produced by the storm can push
the heat roughly four times deeper than mixing alone, sending it to a depth
where the heat is trapped far from the surface. From there, deep sea currents
can transport it thousands of miles. A hurricane that travels across the
western Pacific Ocean and hits the Philippines could end up supplying warm
water that heats up the coast of Ecuador years later."
Via Wayne Radinsky.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics