Climate Change and Hurricanes

To start this article, we would like to express our most sincere thoughts to the people of central-Gulf Florida today. We hope everyone is safe.

This morning, we were listening to the Axios Today podcast and heard an interesting thing: that Hurricane Ian’s jump from a category 3 to a near-5 was beyond unusual.

Some background. The US is no stranger to hurricanes or hurricane season. Oceans and air get warmer over the summer, annual weather fluxes, and storms occur. In the same way the Pacific Northwest has cool, rainy winters. Hurricanes come. Katrina. Charley. Harvey. Irma. And so it goes.

However, with the advent of global climate change (because, yes that’s still a thing), the way that the storms are being formed and transformed appears to be changing. Greenhouse gasses warm the ocean more, fueling greater evaporation and intensify the speed and the “wetness” of hurricanes.

What does this mean? While scientists are still trying to put together a bigger picture of how hurricane season might be changing, the are certain that the acceleration increases and sheer size of storms are not things that can we easily calculate and should not be trifled with. TL; DR-- we need to start expecting the unexpected.

If you’d like to dig a little more into the science and the trends and the questions people are asking, we recommend checking out the following articles (and in the meantime, stay safe out there):

Hurricane Ian's climate warning, Axios, Sept. 29

Climate Change: Hurricanes and cyclones bring misery to millions, as Ian makes landfall in the US, Sept. 28

Honestly? The Link Between Climate Change and Hurricanes Is Complicated, The Atlantic, Sept. 29