Indeed, the warmer the water, the stronger the gales of a hurricane, and the worse the damage. That’s something everyone should be able to agree is worth preventing, hence the University of Miami’s 10-year project of attempting to predict the occurrence and trajectory of these potentially life-altering storms.
How did these South Florida scientists go about this, you may ask? By using the multitude of large marine predators they have around them. Using biological sensors as tags on 750 marine animals over the course of the last decade, they’ve been able to track the temperature and salinity of sea waters at various depths.
The breakthrough came earlier this year. There was a pattern forming the data being collected from the tags. The chosen marine creatures all seemed to gather in water that 79 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. That’s exactly when hurricanes start forming.
According to a recent article by Steve Williams on the Environmental News Network, “The tagged marine life, by gravitating to these waters, can help scientists get an overview of sea temperatures as we go into hurricane season, particularly because the tagged animals (scientists are currently monitoring about 50 sharks, tuna, tarpon and billfish) all dive. That means that when they later surface and trigger the tag to relay data via satellites back to the team, the scientists receive a ‘vertical picture’ of what sea temperatures look like.”