Winds Of Worry
The study in Nature describes a weakening wind current patterns in the last 30 years, which seem to correspond with an increase in aerosols in the atmosphere. In previous years, strong winds in the upper and lower atmosphere travelling in the opposite direction made the formation of cyclones all but impossible during the hot summer months when the Arabian Sea is warmest. Thus the few cyclones the area saw tended to fall outside of the summer months.
But in recent decades cyclones have been forming more frequently, and in greater strength, during the Arabian summers, as the wind shear has diminished across the region. Scientists have found that “brown clouds” formed by excessive emissions in the region reflect sunlight, reducing the sea temperature and wind shear. These brown clouds are also blamed for the melting of Himalayan glaciers, acid rain, and a number of other environmental ills.
In the Arabia and India, where glacial melting is less of a worry, recent Cyclones in 2007 and 2010 have combined caused upwards of $6 billion in damage and were rated as catagory 4 and 5 storms. In 1998, a cyclone in India west cost killed over 2,900 people. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; our dependence on fossil fuels is already proven to affect everything from heart health to earthquakes. The more we ignore this problem, the worse it is gonna get.