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A recent study published by top hurricane experts in the journal Nature Communications found that the percentage of tropical systems that have intensified rapidly in the Atlantic Ocean has tripled over the last three decades, and climate change is a major reason why. According to the study, storms that intensify quickly reach major hurricane status about 80% of the time and are associated with the highest forecast errors. As a result, these rapidly intensifying storms can lead to disastrous scenarios when coastal areas are not given adequate notice to evacuate and prepare for an extremely intense storm.
As CBSexplained, one storm that recently burst into a powerhouse was Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Florida Panhandle in October. In the 24 hours leading up to its landfall, Michael’s winds jumped 45 mph — taking the storm from a strong category 2 to a devastating high-end category 4 with winds of 155 mph. The spike resulted in many people being underprepared and the storm caused $25 billion in damage, making it the year’s costliest disaster in the country. The Washington Post added that the findings come in the wake of two of the most damaging years for hurricanes and other extreme events. In 2017, according to NOAA figures, the United States saw $306 billion in disaster losses, largely driven by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. In 2018, Hurricanes Florence and Michael were major factors in a $91 billion damage total.
Why This Matters: We have the ability to curb our greenhouse gas emissions and slow the effects of climate change, we just need the political will and to vote for candidates who will support comprehensive climate legislation. If we don’t do something about climate change it will mean that millions of Americans who live in hurricane-prone areas will become more vulnerable than ever. If hurricanes intensify more unpredictably it will ensure that people will not have enough warning to evacuate and the likelihood of fatalities will increase.
By WW0 Staff For the United States, the post-Trump, pre-COP26 road to Glasgow has been paved with ambition and humility. In a major speech, the President’s Envoy, John Kerry, previewed the results of his climate diplomacy before heading into two weeks of intense deliberations of world leaders. Speaking at the London School of Economics — […]
Next week, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will draw hundreds of world leaders to Glasgow to determine the path forward five years after the Paris Climate Agreement (for a primer, read this) as new science underscores the urgency. The conference aims to squeeze countries to strengthen the commitments they’ve made towards securing global net-zero […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In a report released last week, the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed that existing risks and security challenges in the US are being made worse due to “increasing temperatures; changing precipitation patterns; and more frequent, intense, and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Now, the Pentagon is […]
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