Is Hurricane Florence More Dangerous Because of Climate Change?

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The warmer the world, the wetter and more destructive are hurricanes, concluded meteorologists and scientists who study climate change and hurricanes. Studies have seen that in general, climate change makes hurricane worse, and now hurricane Florence shows exactly how much humans are to blame for the extreme weather events.

Jonathan Overpeck, who is the dean of the environment school at University of Michigan, explains:

“Florence is yet another poster child for the human-supercharged storms that are becoming more common and destructive as the planet warms.”

Scientists have refrained from connecting climate change and some weather events, but as evidence piles on, studies using statistics and computer models came with a grim conclusion. Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter, had studied Hurricane Harvey and found that the odds of heavy rains were increased due to the global warming. One of the scientists tried to replicate the Harvey analysis and apply it to Florence. However, there are not observations, just forecasts and not enough computer simulations.

The Laws of Thermodynamics

Climate scientist Michael Mann at the Pennsylvania State University explains that we “just need the laws of thermodynamics” to see that the hurricanes are a result of climate change:

“I think we can say that the storm is stronger, wetter and more impactful from a coastal flooding standpoint than it would have been BECAUSE of human-caused warming. And we don’t need an attribution study to tell us that in my view.”

Kim Cobb, Georgia Tech climate scientist, added that there are many peer-reviewed studies which link wetter storms to climate change:

“We have solid data across decades of rainfall records to nail the attribution – climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme rainfall events.”

Scientists added that every degree that makes the air warmer adds almost 4% more water and energy to the storm.

Weather Underground Meteorology Director Jeff Masters concluded that in the case of hurricane Florence, climate change first warmed the ocean and made the intense rainfall more destructive.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.