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Expanding tropics

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Figure 1:  Atmospheric CO2 Levels Figure 1: Atmospheric CO2 Levels
Figure 2:  Global Temperature Rise Since the mid 1990s Figure 2: Global Temperature Rise Since the mid 1990s
Figure 3:  Warmer Planet Over Past Century Figure 3: Warmer Planet Over Past Century
Figure 4:  World's Oceans Figure 4: World's Oceans
Figure 5:  Antarctic Ice Break Up Figure 5: Antarctic Ice Break Up
According to NOAA, which is old news to most folks, our planet is warming.

Since the mid 1900s, Carbon Dioxide or one of the primary green house gas emissions has reached record levels (Figure 1).

And the majority of scientists correlate or link our planet's temperature rise to that fact.  The Figure 2 chart shows a much warmer planet since the middle of the last century.  Also, the majority of the scientist believe that humans are to blame which leads to a firestorm of controversy.

Nonetheless, the earth has warmed about 1.5 degrees in the past century (Figure 3) which on a global scale is a huge ch    ange over a very small time period.

This warming has worked it's way down to our oceans which cover 70% of the globe (Figure 4).

And with the warmer seas, our ice caps are melting especially the north pole.

And just recently, it was discovered a big part of the south pole has broken up due to global warming (Figure 5).

Warmer seas also translate to expanding tropics.  Thus, our tropics are growing toward the poles.  With this in mind, NOAA has discovered since the early 1980s, significant global warming has allowed tropical storms to peak in intensity farther north and south in the respective hemispheres.  In other words, tropical storms are feeding off of warmer waters closer to the poles and are staying stronger in areas that usually never deal with hurricanes or typhoons.
NOAA indicates that the change is more pronounced in the northern and southern Pacific plus the south Indian ocean.  The Atlantic results were inconclusive.

The NOAA report says that maximum tropical storm intensity has been shifting toward the north and south poles at a rate of about 35 miles per decade.  This may not sound like much, but with global warming forecast for the next several decades, we may see more frequent intense tropical storms like Hurricane Sandy strike high latitude, densely populated cities such as New York City.

Also, rising water levels from continued polar ice melt would likely make the damage more severe from storm surge flooding.
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