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  • Strong winds,

  • deadly storm surges and a trail of destruction.

  • Recent hurricanes have wreaked havoc in the United States.

  • And you might be wondering, how does a hurricane work?

  • So, the important thing to understand about hurricanes is that they only form over warm water.

  • Think of warm water as the fuel to the engine that is a hurricane.

  • A hurricane forms when warm air over the ocean rises.

  • As that warm air rises, cool air sort of fills in below it,

  • kind of creating that cyclonic action.

  • At the top, it forms clouds, and those clouds create the rain system that we associate with hurricanes.

  • So, many people are wondering, is climate change making hurricanes worse?

  • Yes.

  • Remember we talked about how warm water is the fuel for a hurricane?

  • Because of climate change, the oceans are much warmer than they used to be.

  • In recent years, we've seen very powerful hurricanes like Harvey and Florence.

  • And the obvious question is, what do they have in common?

  • Both of these hurricanes formed in unusually warm waters.

  • Hurricane Harvey formed in waters around the Gulf of Mexico that were,

  • on average,

  • about 1 degree Celsius warmer than average.

  • Florence is being powered by waters that are 2 degrees Celsius warmer than average.

  • So that's a lot more energy going into the storm.

  • The worry with Florence is not just when it hits land, but how long it will stick around, and how far inland that will go.

  • So does this mean we're going to have more storms like this?

  • The short answer is yes.

  • The long answer is storms like this are even worse.

  • There's some talk about potentially raising the hurricane category scale to include a 6 for stronger winds than we currently have.

  • There is some concern or some evidence suggesting that hurricanes are moving further north.

  • So that means they're going to be showing up in places that they haven't traditionally existed and, potentially, even in places like Europe.

  • When there's a hurricane, when there's a wildfire,

  • climate change often comes up.

  • But climate change is our new reality.

  • And if we don't take steps to mitigate it, we will continue to see powerful, severe hurricanes.

  • And more and more people are going to be put in harm's way.

Strong winds,

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Why Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes Worse | NYT News

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    Jessieeee posted on 2019/01/02
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