Climate change may not be causing storms, but we now have a scientific consensus that it is dramatically increasing the size and scope of storms, as many have feared. This Atlantic Hurricane Season was rough. Hurricane Harvey inundated an area in Texas the size of New Jersey with flood waters. Harvey practically drowned the gulf coast. But, Harvey was followed by an even more devastating storm with Hurricane Irma. She almost destroyed the Caribbean islands and again inundated the Florida coast with flood waters and wind damage.

As these deluged states flounder and folks frantically wonder what’s going on, the subject of climate change comes to mind.

It should be noted that climate change did not cause these hurricanes. However, the scientific consensus is that warmer ocean temperatures and rising sea levels, which are caused by climate change, have made these storms far more destructive than they have ever been in recorded history.

Climate change is making storms in the Atlantic catastrophic and disastrous

Climate Central is an organization of scientists and journalists who research and report the facts about how climate change is affecting the planet and its occupants. According to Sean Sublette, a meteorologist there, climate change is making these already bad storms much worse. He noted that though climate change did not create these storms, it increased their size and scope.

If you already have a bad hurricane, he said, climate change is going to make it “disastrous or catastrophic.”

The jury is still out on exactly how climate change affected this Atlantic hurricane season and the complete data will not be available for some time. This data will be coming in for what could take months or even years.

I’ll probably be writing about it frequently.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began in June of this year. Since that time there have several tropical storms. In one month, between August and September, we have had two category 4 hurricanes, Jose and Harvey, and a category 5 storm in Hurricane Irma.

North Atlantic hurricane statistics

Accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, is a measure used by NOAA to express the activity of cyclones and whole cyclone seasons. In particular, it measures the North Atlantic hurricane season. The ACE index for 2017, as of September 16 is 132.6. To put that into perspective the average median for the totality of seasons between 1981 and 2010 was only 92.

Hurricane Harvey was the first major storm to bash the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, 12 years ago. It was the most intense hurricane to move onto the mainland since Hurricane Charley hit in 2004. Hurricane Irma transformed from a category 1 with a wind speed of 70 mph to a category 5 with 185 mph winds in only 12 hours.

That tied Irma with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, Hurricane Gilbert of 1988, and Hurricane Wilma of 2005.

Folks I could continue with the frightening data, but I think the point is now clear to everyone but the most obtuse. Climate Change is real, and it’s only going to get worse. Can we as a nation, catch up with the rest of the world, and take it seriously?!

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