Politics

Yes, Global Warming Made Hurricane Michael Much, Much Worse

The awful scenes in Florida this week are yet another reminder that the more damage we do to the earth, the more damage it does to us. While global warming is not directly responsible for Hurricane Michael, the science on this is now clear: the severity of the storm most certainly is. 

As National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate and hurricane expert Jim Kossin told ABC News, rising water temperatures played a huge part in the awesome ferocity of the storm that got 55% stronger in a space of 24 hours: 

Another huge factor was the water temperature. Warm water is the energy that fuels hurricanes, and the Gulf water is 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal.

Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico vary along with weather, but some scientists said the warm waters are signs of human-caused climate change.

“Have humans contributed to how dangerous Michael is?” Kossin said. “Now we can look at how warm the waters are and that certainly has contributed to how intense Michael is and its intensification.”

The warm waters, Kossin said, are a “human fingerprint” of climate change.


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