Hurricane Florence may have been brought about by natural ocean cycles, but scientists claim that it was likely made much worse by climate change.
People have experienced the wrath of hurricanes many times over, but the tropical cyclones are getting wetter, slower, and more intense due to the global warming. If people do not come together to address the problem now, hurricanes will only become more frequent and more severe.
Hurricane Florence Made Stronger By Climate Change
Studies have shown that climate change makes hurricanes and typhoons worse, and the same is true for Hurricane Florence.
The Associated Press engaged 17 meteorologists and scientists with expertise in climate change, hurricanes, or both. Most of them believed that man-made activities directly contributed to the strength of Hurricane Florence.
While global warming did not create Hurricane Florence, the experts believe that climate change made it more dangerous.
"Florence is yet another poster child for the human-supercharged storms that are becoming more common and destructive as the planet warms," said Jonathan Overpeck, the dean at the University of Michigan's environment school.
Meanwhile, according to National Center for Atmospheric Research senior scientist Kevin Trenberth, the power of Hurricane Florence highlights new research that storms are being "supercharged" by the world's rising temperatures and that the government should do more in preparing for them.
According to Trenberth, Hurricane Florence may have brought as much as 50 percent more rainfall compared to if it happened 100 years ago, when global warming was not as bad.
Scientists have also determined that for every degree Fahrenheit that the air warms, storms may hold nearly 4 percent more water.
Climate Change Effects: Not Just Stronger Hurricanes
Climate change has many other effects beyond making hurricanes stronger than they should be.
Heat waves do not only happen on land — they also happen on oceans, with the highest-ever seawater temperatures recently recorded off the coast in San Diego. This trend will only further accelerate due to global warming.
It was also recently determined that a tsunami that struck Alaska in October 2015 was caused by a melting glacier, which was caused by climate change. Unfortunately, without addressing global warming, tsunamis will become a normal occurrence in the future.
The warmer climate may also make insect populations grow faster and increase their metabolisms, which would damage more of the world's crops.
These are just a few examples of the effects of climate change. Hopefully, the world's leaders will create more initiatives to address global warming, before everything is too late.