Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
An important new study out this week from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin at Madison reveals that hurricanes are getting stronger, just as climate models have predicted.
As the New York Times explained, the analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the likelihood of a hurricane developing into a major one of Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds greater than 110 miles an hour, by about 8% per decade.
Why This Matters:Attribution science is still a nascent field in many respects. And for hurricanes, while we can logically assume that warming oceans create stronger storms, finding direct causality through data is a more difficult task. Despite this, scientists have repeatedly warned lawmakers that action on climate change is critical in mitigating powerful storms. But, as HuffPost wrote, this the new analysis is perhaps the clearest evidence to date that the crisis is already intensifying tropical storm systems.
Meanwhile: Tropical Cyclone Amphan has strengthened with winds topping 260 kph (or 160 mph) and is set to become the largest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal.
The Data: NOAA scientist James Kossin explained to CNET that the study is “a good step forward and increases our confidence that global warming has made hurricanes stronger,”
adding that, “but our results don’t tell us precisely how much of the trends are caused by human activities and how much may be just natural variability.”
Learning the Lesson: We have to take the science seriously and address the climate crisis otherwise we will continue to spend billions of dollars each year responding to hurricanes rather than working to limit their effects.
But natural disasters aren’t aberrations. They’re all-too-frequent occurrences – ones that, if anything, are becoming more damaging. And thinking about each one in isolation each time it happens has a dangerous, even deadly, effect: it discourages us from adequately preparing for them to begin with.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer Across the nation, 15 million residences are at high risk of flooding within the next 30 years, and most homeowners and renters aren’t aware of this risk. Only about half of states require any kind of disclosure when it comes to flood risk and those that do offer information […]
Hurricane Delta provided a knockout second punch to the Southwest Louisiana coastline, coming ashore within 20 miles of Hurricane Laura’s path, leaving more than 200,000 customers still without power late yesterday (at its peak the number was 700,000).
Why This Matters: Delta was the 25th named storm, the 10th to make landfall in the U.S. this year, and storm season is winding down but it is not over.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.