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A&S Geochemist Predicts Hurricanes Like Florence Will Become More Frequent
As of 11 a.m. ET on September 10, the National Weather Service has upgraded Florence to a Category 3 storm and forecast the weather event will make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning. In the meantime, those on the East Coast and in Mid-Atlantic communities have begun preparations.
Zunli Lu is an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Based on his research of ocean conditions of the past, Prof. Lu says storms like Florence are likely to become more frequent, strong and impactful than they were in previous decades.
“As a geochemist studying ocean conditions in the past, I am becoming more and more intrigued about these extreme weather events. These hurricanes likely will become more frequent, stronger and probably even affect areas that weren’t directly threatened in the last decades.
“There should be some kind of analogue recorded in marine or lake sediments. Scientists have been learning a wide range of environmental changes associated with past climate events, but reconstructing the history of storms seems very challenging.
“It’s likely to prove worthwhile to invest more in this topic, looking back into these natural records (layers of mud) and to help improving future predictions in computer models.”
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