Our planet has been suffering from natural disasters for millions of years. The Earth went through a gazillion changes, some were so immense that it wiped out dinosaurs and mammoths from the face of the planet. It took millions of years for the earth to go through all those tremendous changes, but now the climate is changing much quicker than ever before. What then? A wave of seemingly never ending natural disasters is the deadly result of this rapid change. In under 15 days, the US has been hit by not one, but two hurricanes, forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes in the states of Texas and Florida.
What Are Hurricanes?
We often hear the terms hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon. Aren’t they all just circular storms? The reason why all of them have different names is due to their location but not their effect. The term ‘Hurricane’ refers to the storms in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific while the same thing in the North Pacific is known as a ‘typhoon’ and as a ‘cyclone’ in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. In scientific terms, they are all called ‘tropical cyclones.’ That leaves the term ‘tornado’ that is slightly different from the rest due to its smaller scale and different impact on the environment.
How Are Hurricanes Formed?
How are these circular storms born that engulf entire cities in their mighty winds of destruction? The twisting storms rise above the water of warm oceans near the equator, fueled by the warm and moist air that rises and moves away from the surface of the ocean.
As the warm air rises, it creates an area of low air pressure below it. The emptiness of the low-pressure area pulls in the high-pressure air from surrounding areas. Then, this new colder air begins to become warm and moist as well, rising above and creating a hollow region underneath it. The surrounding air goes on to take the space and meets the same fate, only to rise above and cool down again to form massive clouds. This huge mix of clouds and winds just continues to grow, feeding off of the water that continues to evaporate from the warmer oceans.