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Hurricane Irma. Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project/William Straka III
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer
This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30, is about to bring a higher-than-average storm formation, just like last year, according to the NOAA. The agency predicted “above normal” hurricane activity, with a 70% probability of 13 to 20 named storms. Six to ten of those will become hurricanes, and up to five could strengthen into major hurricanes.
Why This Matters: Evidence show that stronger, wetter storms are becoming more frequent, and climate change is driving this change. Researchers’ models have also shown that hurricanes during the past decade flooded coastal areas with 10% more rainfall due to climate change — and that number could rise to 30% before the end of the century.
As climate change warms the oceans and hurricanes gain power and frequency, storm-addled communities and the government have to adjust to the new normal. This will entail better preparedness and recovery programs in storm-prone communities as well as a reassessment of where it’s safe to build and where it’s not.
“As climate change threatens to bring more extreme events like increased floods, sea level rise, and intensifying droughts and wildfires, it is our responsibility to better prepare and support communities, families, and businesses before disaster — not just after,” the administration said in a statement. “This includes investing in climate research to improve our understanding of these extreme weather events and our decision making on climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation. It also means ensuring that communities have the resources they need to build resilience prior to these crises.” According to the White House, the $1 billion will be allocated for communities, states, and Tribal governments into pre-disaster mitigation resources to prepare for extreme weather events and other disasters, and the Administration is also announcing the development of next generation climate data systems at NASA to help understand and track how climate change is impacting communities.
It was well known that the Tokyo Olympics would be very hot, but it’s now shaping up to be the hottest games in history, and athletes are paying the price. Athletes have had to be routinely treated for heat exhaustion. A Russian tennis star said he could “die” in the suffocating heat and humidity and a […]
The United Arab Emirates has developed a new solution to mitigate heatwaves and drought. Cloud-zapping drones could be the key to manufacturing rainfall, and testing has already begun. Previous methods of cloud-seeding using salt flares have raised questions about environmental safety, but this new method doesn’t use chemicals. Instead, it zaps clouds with electricity, triggering rain production. Cloud-seeding has been employed in the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer After over a week of sudden natural disasters across the globe, at least 33 people have now died in catastrophic floods in central China. The Henan province is currently facing millions of dollars of damage, and 200,000 evacuees are looking for an end to the nightmare. As the army mobilizes to prevent further flooding, […]
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