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Harvey & Irma Embolden by Climate Change

The Direct Correlation Between Massive Hurricanes and Climate Change Can No Longer be Denied ….

Vocabulary

  • Category – A class or division of hurricanes, people, or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics – such as wind speed.
  • Climate Changea change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
    Condensationthe conversion of a substance (such as water) from the vapor state to a denser liquid or solid state usually initiated by a reduction in temperature of the vapor
  • Ecosystema biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
  • Evaporateturn from liquid into vapor
  • Eye – What goes up must come down, so with the violent rising air converging toward the storm center at the eye, sinking air develops within. This air dries out, creating the clear, calm eye. Winds are very light here since the focus of convergence and hence strong winds are in the eyewall.
  • EyewallThe mass of clouds that whirls around the eye of a hurricane, where the destructive force of the storm is most intense.
  • Feeder Bands – These are squally bands of showers characterized by strong gusty winds and heavy rains. These bands become more pronounced as the storm intensifies, and are fed by the warm ocean.
  • Global Warming – an increase in the earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution.
  • Hurricane – A storm with a violent wind, in particular a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean; Intense low pressure areas that form over warm ocean waters in the summer and early fall.
  • Outflow – The high level clouds moving clockwise out away from the hurricane at heights of over 35,000 feet. These clouds are indicative of air spreading out over the top of the storm, which is essential to its development.
  • Storm Surge – Low pressure in the hurricane can act as a plunger, slightly pulling up the water level. However, the components that contribute to the greatest storm surge affect are the winds blowing to the left side of the storm and the topography of the land as the storm makes land fall. The strongest surge comes ashore just to the right of the eye, where the fierce hurricane winds are blowing toward land. Winds on the left side of the storm might actually cause the water level to run slightly lower than normal. Higher water level allows waves to strike farther inland, causing massive property damage. 
  • Water Vapor – a dispersion, in air, of molecules of water, especially as produced by evaporation at ambient temperatures rather than by boiling.

How Are Hurricanes Categorized ?

Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on current maximum wind speed. This rating scale is called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, named for Herb Saffir and Robert Simpson, who developed it.

  • Category 1 — Winds 74-95 mph
  • Category 2 — Winds 96-110 mph
  • Category 3 — Winds 111-130 mph
  • Category 4 — Winds 131-155 mph
  • Category 5 — Winds over 155 mph

Being from rural Arkansas I truly believe that the social and educational settings in some institutions has led to people simply not understanding their world, their neighbors, and their own communication skills. This is mainly for folks who have a hard time coming to terms that climate change is an actual thing and how to help make some sense of the world.

What is a Hurricane?

” Hurricanes are intense low pressure areas that form over warm ocean waters in the summer and early fall. Their source of energy is water vapor which is evaporated from the ocean surface. Water vapor is the “fuel” for the hurricanes because it releases the “latent heat of condensation” when it condenses to form clouds and rain, warming the surrounding air.

Usually, the heat released in this way in tropical thunderstorms is carried away by wind shear, which blows the top off the thunderstorms. But when there is little wind shear, this heat can build up, causing low pressure to form. The low pressure causes wind to begin to spiral inward toward the center of the low.

These winds help to evaporate even more water vapor from the ocean, spiraling inward toward the center, feeding more showers and thunderstorms, and warming the upper atmosphere still more. The showers and thunderstorms where all of this energy is released are usually organized into bands (sometimes called “rainbands” or “feeder bands”), as well as into an “eyewall” encircling the center of the storm. The eyewall is where the strongest winds occur, which encircle the warmest air, in the eye of the hurricane. This warmth in the eye is produced by sinking air, which sinks in response to rising air in the thunderstorms. The winds diminish rapidly moving from the eyewall to the inside of the relatively cloud-free eye, where calm winds can exist.  ” – Excerpt taken from www.weatherquestions.com

How would climate change affect a hurricane?

Climate change is always happening but is being exasperated by humans and the energy we use. People drive cars. Capitalism puts profit over environmental laws. People heat and cool their houses. People cook food. All those things take energy. One way we get energy is by burning coal, oil and gas. Burning these things puts gases into the air. The gases cause the air to heat up.

All this on top of everything else has led to the warming of our oceans. Only a % of a degree change can kill an entire ecosystem, like the great barrier reef, that was here for millions of years. Hurricanes HAVE TO HAVE water above a certain degree to form, about 72 degrees. All that warm water was just fuel to the fire.