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Climate change can make hurricanes more intense and Category 5 hurricanes more likely

02 September 2019 | Adaptation

Global Warming Causes More Intense Hurricanes.

As Hurricane Dorian churns its way through the Atlantic, the international scientific comunity recognize that climate change can make any hurricane more intense and Category 5 hurricanes more likely.

Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, release carbon dioxide and methane into Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap heat, which means that globally, both air temperatures as well as water temperatures have increased and are continuing to increase.

Warmer air leads to more evaporation, which in turn leads to more precipitation. Then the warmer water provides more fuel for the hurricanes. Water has very high heat capacity, which means it’s very good at absorbing heat.

The average temperature of the tropical North Atlantic Ocean has risen more than 1° Fahrenheit since the 1970s. And some buoys east of Hatteras have recorded increases in temperature of up to 3°, from 83° to 86° Fahrenheit over the last 40 years.

Consider how much energy and time it takes to boil a single pot of water. Now think about increasing the temperature of the entire ocean. 

There have been five Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes, Mathew (2016), Irma and Maria (2017), Michael (2018) and Dorian (2019) in the past four years. And these types of storms are projected to happen more often. Meanwhile, the preponderance of evidence points to humans as the cause of global climate change.

 

Source: Forbes