Ah, global warming. It’s our species’ gift to the world that just keeps on giving back to us. The latest potential threat from warming? Medicanes — hurricanes that spin up in the Mediterranean Sea:
This provides some background for interpreting the recent news reports suggesting that global warming ought to cause more medicanes. If true, clearly this would be bad news. However, as climatologist Kevin Trenberth points out in the Times of London article linked above, it’s important to bear in mind that whether or not you have hotter sea surface temperatures, there just isn’t a lot of room in the Mediterranean for a cyclone to grow much in intensity before hitting something.
Nevertheless–and not having yet read the Geophysical Research Letters paper that is driving the latest news coverage–I will say that it sounds plausible to me that climate change would affect the occurrence of cyclones in the Mediterranean.
Of course, it’s not like there are millions of people and some of humanity’s great cities on the Mediterranean, so I’m sure an increase in severe storms wouldn’t be disastrous or anything.