Cómo influyó el calentamiento global en la intensidad del huracán Dorian

Investigadora de la U. de Lousiana pondera el factor del cambio climático en los devastadores estragos que ha dejado el huracán Dorian.

Aunque se prevé que la intensidad de Dorian disminuya en los próximos dos días, su paso por Centroamérica ha sido devastador. Según los últimos reportes, el 60% de la isla de Gran Bahama se encuentra bajo el agua por los efectos de este ciclón tropical que dejó a cinco personas fallecidas.

La fuerza devastadora que trajo consigo el huracán se ha visto influenciada por el cambio climático dijo ayer la Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM). De acuerdo a varias investigaciones en torno a la intensidad de los huracanes, se puede extraer que si bien el cambio climático no necesariamente aumenta el número de estos fenómenos, sí incide en la cantidad de energía con la que se mueve.

El impacto en Bahamas, por ejemplo, se atribuye al aumento de los océanos. “El aumento del nivel del mar es una de las señales claves del cambio climático y los pequeños países insulares del Caribe, así como del Pacífico, están en la línea de frente”, explicó la vocera de la OMM, Clare Nullis.

La investigadora de la Universidad de Lousiana (EE.UU.) Jill Trepanier, explicó a Qué Pasa qué “los huracanes prosperan con el calor, tanto con el calor atmosférico, porque el aire más cálido puede retener más agua, como con el calor oceánico, porque tienen una mayor capacidad para evaporar agua y mover energía. Las temperaturas más altas, tanto en el aire como en el agua, puede aumentar la intensidad de un sistema”.

Para Trepanier “las tormentas recientes nos han mostrado la peligrosidad de los eventos que se intensifican rápidamente cuando tocan tierra, así que sin duda esto cuestiona nuestro clima cambiante. Una atmósfera que se calienta ofrece un ambiente donde las tormentas se pueden tornar más grandes, más torrenciales y más ventosas”.

“Dorian fue alimentado por un clima cambiante”, agregó.

Si bien ya bajó su intensidad a categoría 3, las intensas lluvias y vientos de hasta 195 kilómetros por hora siguen causando efectos devastadores. Esto se debe a su tendencia a mantenerse estacionario, lo que hace que el impacto de vientos, lluvias y oleajes que provoca se concentren en una sola área: “normalmente los huracanes se mueven rápido, pero parece que éste se queda bastante estático sobre Bahamas, aparece como un sandwich entre sistemas de alta presión”, dijo Nullis.

Denis McClean, de la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas para la Prevención de Desastres, aseguró que Dorian “cristaliza la amenaza que pende sobre las pequeñas islas-país por la emergencia climática. Este es el cuarto año consecutivos en el que vemos huracanes extremadamente devastadores en el Atlántico y esto no puede disociarse del hecho de que los últimos cinco años han sido los más calientes registrados debido a que siguen aumentando los gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera”.

Alertas en EE.UU.

Durante esta jornada, el centro de Dorian se mueve en dirección al nor-noroeste en paralelo a la costa nororiental de Florida con vientos máximos sostenidos de 165 kilómetros por hora e intensas lluvias, según el Centro Nacional de Huracanes de Estados Unidos. Los vientos huracanados ses sienten a una distancia de 110 kilómetros desde el centro del ciclón.

Si bien hasta ahora no hay víctimas, se han registrado personas evacuadas y cortes en el suministro eléctrico. Según la división de manejo de emergencias de Florida, esta mañana había poco mas de 19.271 reportes de pérdida de energía.

El NHC pronostica para el jueves por la mañana un nuevo viraje hacia el nornordeste peligrosamente cerca de la costas de Florida y Georgia y que en el transcurso del jueves al viernes Dorian pase cerca o sobre territorio de Carolina del Sur y del Norte. Los cuatro estados se encuentran en estado de emergencia por Dorian, que devastó las islas Ábaco y Gran Bahama, en el archipiélago atlántico de las Bahamas, y pese a haber bajado de categoría sigue siendo peligroso, de acuerdo con el NHC.

Se espera un debilitamiento de Dorian dentro de los próximos dos días, aunque NHC indica que la probable trayectoria del ciclón le llevaría incluso a llegar como huracán a Nueva Escocia, en Canadá, el próximo fin de semana.

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