"Hurricanes and Global Warming"

Kerry Emanuel, Professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Where:    Cary Memorial Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA
When:      Sunday, September 24, 7:30 p.m.

Kerry Emanuel

Professor Kerry Emanuel, MIT professor of atmospheric science, hurricane expert, Lexington resident and author of a new book: "Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes" will be the speaker at GWAC's opening event for the 2006-07 season.

Earlier this year, Dr. Emanuel was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential scientists of 2006. Time called him "The Man Who Saw Katrina Coming". According to Time, it was Dr. Emanuel who helped make the connection between global warming and Hurricane Katrina. Less than a month before Katrina hit, the journal Nature published an extensive study that Emanuel had conducted in which he surveyed the power of roughly 4,800 hurricanes going back decades. In that span of time, the period during which climatologists have been warning that greenhouse gases are steadily raising atmospheric and ocean temperatures, the power of the storms doubled. Warm ocean water is like nitroglycerine for hurricanes, and while many researchers had been predicting an explosion of more powerful storms, Emanuel offered evidence that it was actually happening.

Dr. Emanuel has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1981, after spending three years as a faculty member at UCLA. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction. He is the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and authored the study in "Nature" on the link between human-induced global warming and increasing hurricane strength. His book, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, was recently released by Oxford University Press and is aimed at a general audience. The book gives an account of these awe-inspiring meteorological events, revealing how hurricanes and typhoons have literally altered human history, thwarting military incursions and changing the course of explorations. Dr. Emanuel explains how tropical climates give rise to the most powerful storms in the world and tells the reader what modern science has learned about them. The book will be available for sale & signing that evening. "Divine Wind" is now available at Sundial Bookstore, 1666 Mass. Ave. Lexington, for $30.00 plus tax.

A review of Kerry Emanuel's book written by Eric Olson can be found here.