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Published On: Tue, Aug 29th, 2017

Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer, Michael Mann says global warming makes Hurricane Harvey, other storms worse

While scientists may admit that climate change didn’t cause Harvey and that they haven’t determined yet whether the storm was made worse by global warming, they do say that warmer air and water mean wetter and possibly more intense hurricanes in the future.

“This is the kind of thing we are going to get more of,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer. “This storm should serve as warning.”

Many climate scientists agree that future storms will dump much more rain than the same size storms did in the past, asserting that warmer air holds more water.

earth fireball destruction photo/ Bela Geletneky aka photoshopper24 via pixabay.com

Climategate scientist Michael Mann took to Facebook: “What can we say about the role of climate change in the unprecedented disaster that is unfolding in Houston with Hurricane #Harvey? There are certain climate change-related factors that we can, with great confidence, say worsened the flooding. Sea level rise attributable to climate change (some is due to coastal subsidence due to human disturbance e.g. oil drilling) is more than half a foot over the past few decades (seehttp://www.insurancejournal.com/…/sou…/2017/05/31/4527 See More

“In conclusion, while we cannot say climate change ‘caused’ hurricane Harvey (that is an ill-posed question), we can say that it exacerbate several characteristics of the storm in a way that greatly increased the risk of damage and loss of life,” Mann wrote. “Climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey.”

Global warming also means warmer seas, and warm water is what fuels hurricanes. When Harvey moved toward Texas, water in the Gulf of Mexico was almost 2 degrees F. warmer than normal, said Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters.

Oppenheimer and some others hypothesize that there’s a connection between melting sea ice in the Arctic and changes in the jet stream and the weather patterns that make these “blocking fronts” more common.

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass said climate change is simply not powerful enough to create off-the-chart events like Harvey’s rainfall. “You really can’t pin global warming on something this extreme. It has to be natural variability,” Mass said. “It may juice it up slightly but not create this phenomenal anomaly.”

 Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, said that the most solid link between climate change and storms is that “storm surge is made worse by sea level rise, which we are certain humans have contributed to.”

Dr. Hayhoe noted that scientists are not saying that hurricanes are necessarily caused by climate change, but are being affected by them.

“We care about a changing climate because it exacerbates the natural risks and hazards that we already face,” she said. “People always want to know is it climate change or is it not? The answer is it’s in between.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Desertphile says:

    Considering the fact that the storm has killed people, shouldn’t the petroleum industry be charged with manslaughter?

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