The Benefits of Hurricanes

Jenna Ranney, Feature Editor

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Hurricane season is currently at its peak, where most tropical cyclones develop across the Atlantic Ocean. For the year 2018, the season began on June 1 and is supposed to end on November 30. Hurricanes are extremely destructive depending on the category of the storm. Houses can be torn apart, roads can be broken up, and lives can be lost. Although we all focus on the negative aspects and the destruction, there are several reasons why hurricanes can be vital to our climate and ecosystem.

Droughts take place in many locations all over the world. With the substantial rainfall and the storm sweeping over several areas, it can bring rainfall to areas that are in desperate need for water. This ends up helping the ecosystem so plants can grow and animals can feed off of them. All around, it raises activity bringing moisture to even the most deserted areas. California is an example of a region in need of rainfall. This can help crop production and the livelihood of animals which benefits the economy and ecosystem.

Along the Gulf Coast and West Coast, agal blooms take over the ocean waters. This is caused by bacteria which produces toxins that can kill large amounts of fish and also make shellfish dangerous to eat. The causes of red tide are not particularly known but hurricanes can help dispose of it. High winds and water currents can break up the bacteria and oxygenate the waters, bringing life back to the red tide waters. This is necessary because red tide is toxic to fish and humans. With the huge outbreak of red tide on the Florida coasts, saving animal life is crucial to the ecosystem.

Not only do hurricanes help get rid of red tide, but they also help balance and circulate the heat around the globe. Due to their size and interactions with the upper atmosphere, they are efficient movers of this heat. The equator would be much warmer and would be much cooler if hurricanes did not exist. Insolation near the poles warms ocean temperatures which warms the air above it, creating warmer autumns. With all the rainfall from hurricanes, this warm ocean water is turned to cool ocean water. In the end, spreading the heat around so it is not focused near the equators.

Hurricanes can definitely be alarming as we look out for our houses and lives but it is important to know that whether they bring complete destruction or no destruction at all, they are necessary to regulate and balance our ecosystem.

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The Benefits of Hurricanes