Scientists are getting ready for the potential for a sixth class hurricane

Warming oceans are helping to produce stronger hurricanes than recent hurricanes. seasons cyclones marked by sharp phenomena and a record year, the one from 2020. For 7e year in a row, the hurricane season that begins (from 1ehm June to 30 November) looks more intense than average. In recent years, there have been signs of a very rapid intensification of hurricanes in contact with the warm waters they cross. A trend that will not stop in connection with the constant growth of global temperature levels issue from greenhouse gas from human activities. If this trend cannot be reversed, coastal cities must be prepared for new damage. That’s the whole point University of Florida experiment : simulate damage related to wind and rising waters and hurricane major, even stronger than those already known to the United States, to better prepare cities for a catastrophe.

Wind with a speed of 300 km / h in the experimental hangar

To try to understand the effects of a Category 6 hurricane, scientists imagined a real catastrophic film scenario in a hangar specially designed for the experiment: a wind at 300 km / h blew on a house in wood two floors and ripping roofthen one not clear 6 meters under water, which completely detached the house from the foundations, which was washed away by water. The National Science Foundation has allocated $ 12.8 million to scientists to build the experimental hangar. It must be designed to be able to simulate winds of at least 290 km / h and several meters of waves. More specifically, the results of the experiment should allow work on materials from construction more durable for buildings and roads and in a new arrangement electrical network and water distribution network. To date, such a project has not taken place.

To carry out this project, the University of Florida brings together a team of engineers, experts in natural disastersforecasting model specialists and meteorologists. The University of Florida has already created windshield ( Wow, for wind wall)hurricane simulator in the hangar with 12 huge fans capable of producing winds at speeds of up to 252 km / h, which corresponds to a hurricane of the 5th category. trees and wooden houses to test them resistance in the wind. The new experimental hangar should raise the bar, but such a project will require at least four years of work and will therefore not be completed until 2026.

Some scientists claim that Category 6 hurricanes have already occurred

The idea of ​​preparing for winds above 300 km / h may seem extreme, but in reality, according to the University of Florida, it is quite realistic: hurricanes in recent years Dorian (2019), Irma (2017) in the Atlantic av Super typhoon Haiyan (2013) in the Pacific all generated winds above 290 km / h: this type cyclones is already considered by some scientists to be a category 6 phenomenonSaffir-Simpson scale which has five categories, although no category 6 officially exists: category 5 has no restrictions, as it indicates phenomena with winds greater than 251 km / h with waves greater than 5.5 meters. But, as the University of Florida points out: the classification scale could already include 6e category “.

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