Are Hurricanes Connected to Global Warming?

Sheryl CanterHurricane Gustav - August 31, 2008Have Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna gotten you thinking about the possible link between hurricanes and climate change?

Check out our hurricane and clilmate change overview for the straight facts from EDF climate scientists. And Peter Black shares eye-opening maps over on ClimateAtlas.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

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3 Comments

  1. physicist
    Posted September 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    A scientific analysis that provides balance to any EDF claims can be read at:
    "Hurricanes And Global Warming – A Scientific Disconnect"
    http://climatesci.org/2008/09/03/hurricanes-and-global-warming-_-a-disconnect-on-spatial-scales/

  2. kenzrw
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    According to NOAA, flooding causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning each year on average. With that in mind, I think the most dangerous aspect of a warming planet is the fact that warmer air carries more moisture, thus causing more and heavier rain and more flooding. So, even though hurricanes may or may not have stronger winds, they WILL carry more moisture/rain, increasing the dangers of drowning deaths and flooding damage. Is this thinking logical?

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tadd/
    "While the number of fatalities can vary dramatically with weather conditions from year to year, the national 30-year average (1977-2006) for flood deaths is 99. That compares with a 30-year average of 61 deaths for lightning, 54 for tornadoes and 49 for hurricanes."

  3. Posted September 15, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    That warm air holds more water is part of it, but not all of it. James Wang, a climate scientist here, posted a couple of good articles on how/why global warming affects weather:

    http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2008/01/14/global_winds/
    http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2007/10/31/california_wildfires/

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