The recent patterns and chains of hurricanes are extremely worrisome. Hurricanes are sweeping the Atlantic. Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have been dominating the headlines of our news and has left millions of people homeless, injured, and many dead. In the past month, we’ve had some of the largest storms on record, and not just one, but multiple. This extreme pattern of storms has many wondering why this is occurring. Many scientists are saying that the extremity and frequency of these storms can be attributed to climate change and global warming. Global warming is an overall increase of temperatures due to a phenomenon called the greenhouse effect where CO2 is being emitted into the atmosphere, causing heat to be trapped inside our atmosphere.
In the article, “Four Underappreciated Ways Climate Change Could Make Hurricanes Even Worse,” Chris Mooney says that “hurricanes are massive thermodynamic systems that withdraw energy from the oceans and release it into the atmosphere.” He explains that hurricanes get their energy from the warmer surface ocean water. It can be found in another article titled “Hurricanes Are Sweeping The Atlantic: What’s The Role of Climate Change?” that our ocean surface temperatures are .5 to one degree celsius warmer than average. Our ocean temperatures are rising and our summers and falls are lengthening due to the warming of our planet, allowing hurricanes to occur well out of the prime hurricane season. Another worrisome effect of global warming is the rise of sea levels and how it contributes to hurricanes. Our oceans are rising one eighth of an inch every year due to the melting of glaciers and thermal expansion. In a third article, “Hurricane Irma Made Worse by Climate Change, Scientists Say” they say “burning coal, oil, and gas warms our planet and that way supplies energy for the build up of ever more powerful tropical storms.” By now we have realized that by emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, we are contributing to the greenhouse effect and in turn, warming our planet. This process is the thing that has climate scientists extremely worried.
Climate change has had many negative effects on our planet and we continue to discover more of the negative impacts as time goes on. We are now seeing evidence that the causes of these extreme hurricane’s also point to climate change. Our ocean surface temperatures are rising because of our carbon emissions and hurricanes are fueled by warm ocean water. Therefore, since our waters are getting warmer, our hurricanes are being given prime conditions to pick up energy from the warm water. Because of the increase of water in the atmosphere from these warmer ocean temperatures, there is also more water readily available for these storms causing more rainfall during when these hurricanes occur. The rise of sea levels has scientists worried that the storm surge that occurs during hurricanes will be greatly worsened because the water is higher and will flood much more.Although we can’t argue that these hurricanes were caused by climate change and global warming, we can argue that they are made more powerful and intense by global warming.