Atlantic, Caribbean storms more destructive as temperatures rise

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Most Destructive Hurricanes Ever: Inside the Numbers

NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans will grow more than twice as powerful and damaging as ocean temperatures rise from global warming, a new study says.

Warming seas could produce more rainfall and far more destructive storm surges of water along the ocean shorelines in the next 50 to 100 years, said the study by U.S. scientists published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"It could affect the entire Atlantic coast," said William Lau, a co-author and research associate at the University of Maryland's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.

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Simulation showed future storms with as much as 180 percent more rain than what occurred during Superstorm Sandy, which heavily damaged the Northeastern United States in 2012, he said.

"The rainfall itself is probably way out in the ocean, but the storm surge would be catastrophic," he said

Related: See photos from Hurricane Sandy:

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Atlantic, Caribbean storms more destructive as temperatures rise
Raymond Souza carries away a ladder after boarding up Tidal Rave's 5 & 10 gift shop on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, October 28, 2012 ahead of Hurricane Sandy's landfall. US emergency officials braced for the potentially massive impact of a so-called 'Frankenstorm' Sunday as Hurricane Sandy lumbered north in the Atlantic Ocean, poised to hit the eastern seaboard with torrential rains and gale-force winds. The superstorm was expected to make landfall somewhere between Virginia and Massachusetts early Tuesday, possibly causing chaos during the frenzied last days of campaigning before the November 6 US presidential vote. As it churned in a northeasterly direction, the massive weather system was at category one strength, the lowest-level hurricane on the five-tiered Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Resident Antonio Garces tries to recover his belongings from his house destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in Aguacate, Cuba, Thursday Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba on Thursday as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
SCITUATE, MA - OCTOBER 29: Waves crash over a jetty with Scituate Lighthouse and homes in the background as Hurricane Sandy arrives along the coast of Massachusetts. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Store manager L.P. Cyburt, right, gets help boarding up the windows of the business as Hurricane Sandy approaches the Atlantic Coast, in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Hilavio Baquero stands in front of waves as winds from hurricane Sandy reach Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Conn., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
As rain from Hurricane Sandy arrives in Washington, workers haul sandbags to shore up vulnerable spots at The Pavilion at the Old Post Office, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Washington. The Justice Department is seen in the background. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: A man walks past a barricaded subway entrance near Battery Park during the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in New York City. The core of Sandy's force is supposed to hit the New York area Monday night. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LINDENHURST, NY - OCTOBER 29: Joseph Arpaio of Massapequa abondons his car on 5th Street in Lindenhurst as high tide, rain and winds flood local streets on October 29, 2012 in Lindenhurst, New York. The storm, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Cars floating in a flooded subterranian basement following Hurricaine Sandy on October 30, 2012 in the Financial District of New York, United States. The storm has claimed at least 33 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: A downed tree in Capitol Hill after the passing of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
FALMOUTH, MA - OCTOBER 29: A man drives around a fallen tree on Locust Street in Falmouth during Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FDNY firefighters glare up at a damaged crane as it hangs over 57th Street after being torn from it's base by high winds, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. AP Photo/ John Minchillo)
A partially collapsed crane hangs from a 90-story residential building under construction on West 57th Street in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Atlantic superstorm Sandy may cut U.S. economic growth as it keeps millions of employees away from work and shuts businesses from restaurants to refineries in one of the nationâs most populated and productive regions. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People are evacuated from a neighborhood in Little Ferry, New Jersey, one day after Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 32 in the United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people remained missing, officials said. Officials in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO/Mehdi Taamallah (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)
Backyard furniture sits in disarray at the Ice House bar in the Red Hook neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. New York City officials began assessing damage after superstorm Sandy killed 10 people, sparked a fire that razed 80 homes in a Queens, flooded tunnels of the biggest U.S. transit system and left 750,000 customers without power, including the lower third of Manhattan. Photographer: Matthew Leising/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People look at a tree which fell during Hurricane Sandy in the Brooklyn borough of New York on October 30, 2012. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 32 in the United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people remained missing, officials said. Officials in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia all reported deaths from the massive storm system, while Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO /Mehdi Taamallah (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)
COLD SPRING HARBOR, NY - OCTOBER 30: Residents view downed trees completely blocking Cold Spring Harbor Road in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The storm has claimed at least a few dozen lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A fleet of taxis sits submerged in water in Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. The Atlantic storm Sandy left a landscape of devastation across much of New Jersey, tearing apart seaside resort towns, ripping houses from foundations and littering the turnpike with rail cars and debris. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A firefighter looks through debris of a fire that destroyed over 50 homes during Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. At least 33 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was hit especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A man looks through the debris of his destroyed home after Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in the Rockaway section of the Queens borough of New York City. At least 40 people were reportedly killed in the U.S. by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was hit especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 30: A boat sits on the dock at the East Marina in Point Lookout on October 30, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. The storm has claimed at least 40 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA- OCTOBER 30: A giant tree rests on the home at 804 S Overlook Drive in the Beverly Hills Alexandria neighborhood on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012. Neighbors said the owners left last night after the tree fell during the storm. (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - OCTOBER 30: A downed tree and power lines block Rt. 261 in Calvert County just south of Chesapeake Beach on Tuesday morning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, in Chesapeake Beach, MD, on October 30, 2012. (Photo by Ray K. Saunders /The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Massive fires destroyed 110 homes in Breezy Point, Queens as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Pictures taken during height of fire about 1 a.m. Oct 30, 2012. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 30: A PEPCO worker cuts a wire on a damaged utility pole on Idaho street after historic storm Sandy passes through on October, 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
People stand outside their apartment building October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which made landfall along the New Jersey shore, has left parts of the state and the surrounding area flooded and without power. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport remain stranded on October 31, 2012 even as the airport resumes some service after being closed due to Hurricane Sandy. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports, both of which serve New York City, reopened Wednesday morning after being closed for days by Hurricane Sandy, the local port authority said. Two New York airports and Wall Street reopened, but the crippled subway system, traffic-clogged roads and large areas still without power pose a daunting hurdle before the Big Apple can declare itself back to normal. AFP PHOTO /Mehdi Taamallah (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama comforts Hurricane Sandy victim Dana Vanzant as he visits a neighborhood in Brigantine, New Jersey, on October 31, 2012. Americans sifted through the wreckage of superstorm Sandy on Wednesday as millions remained without power. The storm carved a trail of devastation across New York City and New Jersey, killing dozens of people in several states, swamping miles of coastline, and throwing the tied-up White House race into disarray just days before the vote. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
LINDENHURST, NY - OCTOBER 31: Gary Silberman looks out to an area that was his bedroom after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012 in Lindenhurst, New York, United States. The storm has claimed many lives in the United States and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City, with widespread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - OCTOBER 31: Rescue workers gather around a house wrecked by Superstorm Sandy on October 31, 2012 in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. At least 50 people were reportedly killed in the U.S. by Sandy with New Jersey suffering massive damage and power outages. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WAREHAM, MA - OCTOBER 31: Donald B. Hall had a kayak land inside a window at his home on Circuit Avenue after a microburst hit that was caused by remnants of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The American Red Cross Shelter set up at Whitman High School in Huntington Station, N.Y. just two days after Hurricane Sandy struck Long Island. 10-31-12
HAZLET TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 01: A man fills up jerry cans with gasoline as others wait in line on November 1, 2012 in Hazlet township, New Jersey. United States. Superstorm Sandy, which has left millions without power or water, continues to effect business and daily life throughout much of the eastern seaboard. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - NOVEMBER 1: The roller coaster at the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ on Nov. 1. The boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
HIGHLANDS, NJ - NOVEMBER 01: An abandoned trailer home, with the words, 'Bye-bye Paradise, it was nice while it lasted,' spray painted on its side, is seen in the Paradise Park trailer Park on November 1, 2012 in Highlands, New Jersey. Superstorm Sandy, which has left millions without power or water, continues to affect business and daily life throughout much of the eastern seaboard. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Scenes of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath in the Breezy Point part of Far Rockawayon November 1, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Aby Baker/Getty Images)
American flag flies above a burned out Breezy Point, Queens in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
KEYPORT, NJ - NOVEMBER 02: Boats once docked in Brown's Point Marina lie against a pier after being tossed by Superstorm Sandy on November 2, 2012 in Keyport, New Jersey. Keyport is a haven for boaters, resulting in hundreds of boats being scattered and/or wrecked, and several marinas destroyed. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
A rescue center is being organized by volunteers in the gymnasium next to St Gertrude's Church as New York recovers from Hurricane Sandy on November 4, 2012 in Far Rockaway, New York. Veterans of the campaign to bring Wall Street to a standstill are now in an army of volunteers helping the tens of thousands in a crippled district of New York one week after superstorm Sandy struck. Hundreds of volunteers have poured into Far Rockaway, a poor working class district on the fringes of New York City, which endured an horrific storm last Monday. AFP PHOTO / Veronique DUPONT (Photo credit should read Veronique DUPONT/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker cut a downed tree that fell on a road during the the early stages of Hurricane Sandy, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Storm surge hits a small tree as winds from Hurricane Sandy reach Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Conn., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Water from Long Island Sound spilled into roadways and towns along the Connecticut shoreline Monday, the first signs of flooding from a storm that threatens to deliver a devastating surge of seawater. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.  (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)
A boat floats in the driveway of a home in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Lindenhurst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
A man walks past cottages damaged by superstorm Sandy on Roy Carpenter's Beach in the village of Matunuck, in South Kingstown, R.I. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Reece Hiner ,11, take a look at a destroyed home in Pasadena, Md., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, where the homeowner was killed overnight when a tree fell on his home during superstorm Sandy. Neighbor John Brown identified the victim as Donald Cannata Sr. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Boro Sangulin paddles a kayak through a flooded 16th Street from the effects of superstorm Sandy in on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Bayville, N.Y. Sangulin was checking on the flood damage of his home at the end of the block. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
People and pets picked up from flooded homes are transported in a large truck to dry ground, in Little Ferry, N.J. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in the wake of superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A sign cautions Frederick residents to not drive on a road, in Frederick, Md., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)
FDNY firefighters respond to a fire in a storefront after the roof collapsed, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)
The view of storm damage over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, from a helicopter traveling behind the helicopter carrying President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as they viewed storm damage from superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, Pool)
In this aerial photo, upended boats are piled together at a marina along the central New Jersey shore on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. New Jersey got the brunt of superstorm Sandy, which made landfall in the state and killed six people. More than 2 million customers were without power as of Wednesday afternoon, down from a peak of 2.7 million. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Part of a home rests upside-down in Seaside Heights, N.J. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 after superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening. The rest of the home sat away from its original spot in the middle of the street. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Crews from as far away as Missouri and Illinois gather early Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in a parking lot used as a staging area at the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township, N.J. Utility crews continue to work on restoring power to the area after Monday's storm surge from superstorm Sandy that left businesses and residents without power. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A line of New Jersey Army National Guard humvees are deployed in North Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, N.J. on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
Debris covers the lower floor of Don Durando's house in Long Beach, N.Y. Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, after sustaining flooding and other damage from Superstorm Sandy. Three days after Sandy slammed the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, New York and New Jersey struggled to get back on their feet, the U.S. death toll climbed to more than 80, and more than 4.6 million homes and businesses were still without power. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Bonnie Miller, right, cries with her sister-in-law Kelly Borden after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addressed a gathering Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Brick, N.J., after he toured some of the region devastated by Monday's storm surge from superstorm Sandy. Miller stayed in her home that was severely damaged during the storm. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Raymond Kelly, far right, commissioner for the New York City Police Department, visits a volunteer station in Midland Beach in Staten Island, N.Y. which was flooded by Superstorm Sandy, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A resident has discarded stacks of books damaged by Superstorm Sandy in the Manhattan Beach neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. The region is still cleaning up a week after the storm struck. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
This combination of photos shows above, lower Manhattan dark after the hybrid storm Sandy on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, and below a fully lit skyline on Jan. 6, 2012, both seen from the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to lessen damage from saltwater to the subway system and the electrical network beneath the city's financial district, New York City's main utility cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan. But a far wider swath of the city was hit with blackouts caused by flooding and transformer explosions. (AP Photo)
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In 2012, Sandy killed 159 people and inflicted $71 billion in damage as it battered the U.S. coast, especially in the states of New Jersey and New York. Nearly 200,000 households obtained emergency government assistance, and rebuilding remains stalled in some areas.

Simulating weather patterns with higher ocean temperatures rising due to global warming, the study found future hurricanes could generate forces 50 to 160 percent more destructive than Sandy.

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