Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes More Intense, Study Shows 

It’s an established fact that global temperatures are on the rise, however, this latest study proposes that climate change is making hurricanes more intense and destructive. This has been the subject of much debate and ongoing research. The latest research indicates that the intensity of hurricane’s have increased, and they are doing so at a faster rate due to climate change.

Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Hurricanes 

Hurricanes’ intensity is highly correlated with temperature, and major research conducted by a team of prominent scientists determined that in the past four decades, temperatures have risen significantly due to the increase of human generated greenhouse gasses. That increase in temperature has had a direct effect the intensity of hurricanes, citing that since the 1970s, hurricane intensity has increased 10% and the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have doubled.

Changes in Storms Due to Climate Change 

The fundamental changes caused by climate change are driving changes in storms and are also impacting the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. As temperatures continue to rise, the planet’s atmosphere is storing significantly more energy, and that energy fuels hurricanes. With higher ocean temperatures, the air is filled with more moisture, in turn increasing precipitation drastically as strong winds whip up more waves which amplify ocean and storm surge.

How Climate Change Increases Hurricane Intensity and Loss of Life 

When storms become more intense, it causes much more destruction and can mean the difference between life and death. A report from the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society concluded that “climate change intensified the rainfall in Harvey by at least 15%” and “fueled Florence’s rainfall by at least 50%.”

This confirms that climate change has had an influence on the intensity of hurricanes in recent years, directly resulting in more destruction, a greater risk of loss of life, and allowing for larger amounts of flooding and displacement in vulnerable areas.

Potential Risks Expansion in Scope 

The intensity of hurricanes is strongly correlated with temperature and the increases in temperature seen are having an effect on hurricanes and other extreme weather events. The risks associated with climate change are expanding in scope and magnitude and the only way to mitigate those risks is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

What Can Be Done to Mitigate Risk? 

Recognizing the very real dangers associated with climate change and hurricanes, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk associated with them. Some of these include:

• Increase coastal resilience measures: This includes fortifying infrastructure along coastlines to ensure that they are able to withstand flooding and storm surge, as well as providing educational opportunities to coastal communities.

• Make use of renewable energy sources: This can reduce the amount of production of harmful greenhouse gasses and in turn, reduce the amount of heat in the atmosphere that fuels hurricane’s intensity.

• Implement preventative measures: Educating communities on the dangers of climate change and hurricanes and preparing for potential hurricanes in advance can reduce the danger of them and the destruction associated with them.

• Prepare for the worst: In the event that a major storm does occur, local, regional, and national governments should be prepared to help evacuate citizens, provide financial aid for repairs, and aid in the rebuilding effort.

Climate change is making hurricanes more intense and more destructive. While more research is necessary to further confirm these findings, there is little doubt that these changes are happening, and steps will need to be taken to mitigate the risks associated with them. In order to reduce the damage and destruction associated with hurricanes, it’s important to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses, prepare coastal communities, and take other mitigating measures. In the end, only by addressing the realities of Climate Change can the effects of more intense hurricanes be reduced.