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Rising Sea Surface Temperature and Hurricane Intensity


A video to learn about hurricanes as heat engines, and the possible effects of increasing sea surface temperature on the intensity and frequency of hurricanes.

Students will understand the process of hurricane formation, and the factors that influence the number and strength of hurricanes. They will discuss recent intense hurricanes and the possible effects of a warmer ocean on hurricane intensity.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Describe the formation of a hurricane and the role of heat energy in this process
  2. How might an increase in sea surface temperature affect the intensity of a hurricane? What are the other factors that might influence the strength of a hurricane?
About Tool
Tool Name The Effect of Sea Surface Temperature on Hurricanes
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences 
Topic(s) in Discipline Heat Transport, Atmospheric Physics, Heat, Energy, Heat Engine, Hurricane, Hurricane Intensity
Climate Topic Disasters and Hazards, Climate and the Atmosphere, Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of tool Video
Grade Level High School
Location Global
Language English
Translation  Spanish
Developed by PBS Learning Media 
Hosted at PBS Learning Media
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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