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A new category of “major hurricanes” may be created.

A new category of “major hurricanes” may be created.

However, science has identified another impact of climate change. The climate crisis is making hurricanes increasingly stronger, a new study finds. Therefore, researchers call for adopting a Category 6 classification for “major hurricanes.”

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Effects of climate change

  • Currently, the hurricane classification system goes from 1 to 5, the latter being the strongest event that can be recorded, when wind speeds exceed the 252 km/h mark.
  • However, researchers point out that at least five storms have been observed in the past decade with winds exceeding 300 kilometers per hour, which exceeds the limits set by the current scale.
  • These “mega hurricanes” are the result of the effects of climate change, due to the warming of the oceans and atmosphere.
  • The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • The information is from IFLScience.
According to researchers, hurricanes are getting stronger (Image: Vikks / Shutterstock)

Category 6 includes hurricanes with wind speeds exceeding 300 km/h

Based on the results of this new study, researchers are calling for a change in the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. This mechanism was developed in the early 1970s by Herbert Safire, a civil engineer, and Robert Simpson, a meteorologist, to classify hurricanes.

Level 5, currently the highest on the scale, covers weather events that cause catastrophic damage, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Maria in 2017.

However, other events of larger magnitude end up being restricted to this same classification. This is the case of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines in 2013, and Hurricane Patricia, which reached a maximum speed of 340 kilometers per hour when it formed near Mexico in 2015.

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To correct these distortions, the study highlights the necessity of establishing a level 6 on the scale. This new classification will cover hurricanes with wind speeds greater than 309 km/h.