When the Wind Blows: Predicting How Hurricanes Change with Climate

TUE, JUN 19, 2018 (47:29)

The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive on record for the United States, inflicting a staggering $268 billion in damage. Areas of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico are still rebuilding after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria made landfall last summer. The occurance of three devastating hurricanes in a single season highlights the importance of research on the relationship between climate change and the strength of hurricanes. Now that that 2018 hurricane season has begun, scientists are working to predict what’s in store for this year and for years to come as sea surface temperature continues to rise. In this talk, Sydney Sroka, Tom Beucler, and Jonathan Lin, three graduate students studying various aspects of hurricane predictability and atmospheric physics at MIT, describe how hurricanes intensify, the state-of-the-art technology of hurricane prediction, and the way climate change is expected to influence hurricanes.

+ BIO: Sydney Sroka

Sydney Sroka is a PhD Candidate with Professor Kerry Emanuel at MIT. Her expertise is in computational fluid dynamics and she studies the air-sea transfer of enthalpy and momentum in the hurricane spray layer. She received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship upon entering graduate school and hopes to continue studying air-sea coupling after she graduates.

+ BIO: Tom Beucler

Tom Beucler is a fourth-year PhD candidate in atmospheric science affiliated with the Lorenz Center at MIT, co-advised by Timothy Cronin and Kerry Emanuel. His expertise is in environmental fluid dynamics and atmospheric physics and he is interested in the way radiation influences a hurricane’s growth rate and intensity.

+ BIO: Jonathan Lin

Jonathan Lin is a graduate student with Professor Kerry Emanuel. He graduated from Princeton with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science last year and, for his PhD, is studying hurricane predictability. Jonathan is both an American Meteorological Society and a Rasmussen fellow.

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