Wait! I thought it was supposed to increase wind speed!

“Tropical Storm Ida’s landfall near Pensacola last week was easily the most documented tropical weather event of the year. That’s because Ida was the only tropical weather event of the year. …

The TV folks had to be a bit disappointed, however, since none of the dozens of cameras stationed along the Gulf Coast captured that quintessential hurricane picture: the palm tree bending in the wind.

And, based on a new study from Iowa State University, palm trees may not be bending much in the future.

The study found that surface wind speeds, especially in the Midwest and the Northeast, have decreased by an average of 0.5 percent to 1 percent each year since 1973. …

The scientists looked at surface wind data around the country from 1973 to 2005 using wind-speed measurements from anemometers and computerized climate models to reach their conclusion. …

Why wind speeds have decreased for the past 30 years remains a mystery, although, Ray Arritt, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State, says the study appears to support theories that climate change could affect surface winds.

“There are some good theoretical reasons to think that global warming will cause lighter winds in regions between the tropics and the Arctic,” he said.” “Scientists ‘poking into’ reasons for slower wind speeds; climate change eyed

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