US Reporter

Climate Crisis Makes Hurricanes Stronger and Occur More Frequently

When Hurricane Ian battered parts of Florida this week, it almost reached Category 5. The hurricane’s greatest sustained winds, which were powerful enough to uproot trees, produce significant storm surges, and completely demolish homes, were about 155 miles per hour.

Within a few hours, streets were underwater, and people rushed to locate stronger structures to shield them from the hurricane’s fierce winds and rainfall.

Similar pictures were taken when the hurricane hit Cuba a few days earlier.

Then, after Hurricane Ian’s winds were strong enough to seriously destroy the island’s electrical infrastructure, the island was left without electricity.

According to the US weather agencies, only four Category 5 hurricanes have ever been reported to impact the US.

However, storms like Ian will happen more frequently and worsen as the climate issue deepens. Global warming brought on by human activity hastens the development of stronger and larger storms.

The primary cause of this condition is heat. Cloud systems might ultimately develop into storms if there is enough heat and if the heat persists.

Additionally, when nations burn fossil fuels to provide electricity for homes and infrastructure, large amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere, ultimately increasing global temperatures.

The heat makes it possible for minor hurricanes to develop over the Atlantic. Ian experienced the same situation. When the storm was still developing, it was weak and could only do a little amount of harm if it reached landfall.

However, it quickly strengthened and grew due to the intense heat in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Climate change can form stronger hurricanes

Not only does the heat make hurricanes more common, but it also hastens their development into bigger storms.

For instance, hurricane Ian transformed from a tropical storm to a hurricane within 24 hours. It even got stronger before it reached Cuba, harming the island.

Then, as it moved into Florida, it became stronger and almost reached Category 5.

Rapid hurricane strengthening is becoming increasingly frequent, especially when typhoons pass over the US Gulf Coast.

Examples of hurricanes that swiftly intensified and passed over warm water close to the nation’s coast include Hurricanes Ida, Harvey, Irma, and Michael.

A major factor in how rapidly hurricanes strengthen, especially those that originate over the Atlantic Ocean, is heat, according to a study.

The existence of other weather systems and the state of the wind are two other aspects that must be taken into account.

However, due to a recent pattern, researchers are now closely examining how global warming directly affects storm intensity.

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Flooding will be more prevalent

The ability of the atmosphere to store moisture increases as it becomes warmer. As a result, there will be more storms that, when they strike land, transport enormous amounts of water.

This only indicates that when hurricanes bring in huge amounts of precipitation, flooding will happen more frequently.

By examining Hurricane Harvey’s behavior, scientists have previously demonstrated that climate change significantly increases the amount of water transported by storms.

Additionally, when storms intensify, there is a greater likelihood of storm surges, which puts communities—particularly those in low-lying areas—at greater risk.

Photo Credit: NASA

Source: NPR

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.



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