Friday, October 7, 2016
Hurricanes and Global Warming
Global warming has already doubled the risk of Hurricane Katrina-magnitude storm surges in the U.S., according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It estimates that for every 1.8°F increase in global average surface temperatures, there could be a two-fold to seven-fold increase in the risk of Katrina-magnitude surge events. Hurricane Matthew will test that prediction.
Hurricane Matthew is churning close to Florida’s east coast after it weakened slightly overnight to a Category 3 storm. While it is still uncertain whether it will make landfall, the hurricane has already dumped torrential rain and left more than 300,000 Florida residents without power. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting up to 15 inches of rain in some areas and storm surges up to 11 feet from Florida to South Carolina.