Hurricanes and climate change: what is the connection?


It’s hard to predict how bad things will get from year to year hurricane season will beBut scientists say climate change What makes hurricanes even worse is their destructive power, especially when they make landfall.

Dr. Kristen Corbociello is an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany. She studies changes in the structure and intensity of tropical cyclones.

“There’s no doubt we’re seeing a change in the impact of hurricanes, and it will continue to get worse,” Corbocielo said.

When Corbo Cielo talks about impact, it means the path of destruction left behind when a hurricane hits communities like homes, businesses and people.Corbo Cielo said sea ​​level rise This is one of the most obvious ways climate change is affecting the destruction wrought by hurricanes.

“When a hurricane makes landfall, it brings water,” says Corbocielo. “Think of the Katrina floods. You know, he was over 15 years ago now.”

“More water will come ashore,” Corbocielo continued. “And we know that bringing this kind of water on land is the number one killer in a hurricane.”

Rising sea levels aren’t the only thing she’s worried about. Recent research The scientific journal Science Advance, published in April, showed that climate change could cause more hurricanes to land in parts of the United States.

“I liked the study because they weren’t saying there will be more storms or more storms, but the storms that do occur are more likely to land and affect people. Give,” Corbocielo said.

In particular, the study says there could be more landfalls in the southeastern United States, especially Florida, and fewer landfalls in the northeastern United States.

“And that was because the storm moved in different ways in the atmosphere.” warming climate“The study predicts that more than 40 years from now, climate change will affect these storms and whether they will hit the United States,” Corbocielo said.

Corbocielo said scientists are less certain about other links between hurricanes and climate change, including whether there will be more links in the future.

“It’s hard to attribute things to specific causes, in terms of climate change or increased intensity and number of hurricanes,” she says.

One reason, Corbocielo said, is that they base their predictions on past patterns, but they don’t yet have enough historical data to do so.

“And I know it’s not really a satisfying answer,” she said. “It’s not a satisfying answer for me as a scientist, but I think we need to be honest about what we know, what we’re most sure about, and what we’re less sure about.”

The impact of hurricanes extends far beyond coastal communities. Hurricanes continue to be the deadliest weather disasters on record in U.S. history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricanes in the United States have caused more than $1.1 trillion in damage and killed about 6,700 people over the past 40 years, according to government estimates.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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