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The increase in the intensity and duration of Atlantic hurricanes
in recent decades is due to temperature increases in the atmosphere
caused by global warming, and not by natural variations in ocean
temperature, according to a new study.
Recent studies have linked rising sea surface temperatures,
or SSTs, in the Atlantic Ocean to climate change caused by
human activities. Warmer SST's means the ocean is capable of
storing more energy—energy that is converted into wind power
during tropical storms.
However, other scientists blame a decades-long natural variation
in ocean temperature, called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation,
or AMO, for the rising SST trend.
Both camps agree that rising SSTs are contributing to increasing
hurricane strength, but until now, the connection between air
temperature and SST was unclear. Do rising atmospheric
temperatures cause sea surface temperatures to rise?
Or is it the other way around?
Believe it or not, the animal that wins this honor is the humble termite. Because of their diet and digestive processes (with more than the usual microbial assistance), they produce as much methane as human industry. Termite farts are believed to be a major contributor towards global warming.