Our Warming Planet is Producing Stronger Hurricanes
We humans are heating up the planet. How? Primarily by burning things like gas, oil, coal, etc. When we burn these fossil fuels, they release greenhouse gases into the air. These gases trap heat. Since the late 1800’s, humans have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the air by about 40% above the normal range observed over the last 800,000 years. And it the oceans are absorbing most of this heat. As the oceans are getting warmer, they are producing stronger hurricanes. Check out the graphs below.
Below is how much warmer the Tropical Atlantic is over the last 110 years. A few degrees might not sound like a lot, but consider how huge the ocean is and how much energy is required to heat up that amount of water. Or you might think of it this way. How do you feel with a fever of 100.6? That’s only 2 degrees above average.
Below is the trend line that shows the percentage of all storms that have grown into major hurricanes over the past 40 years. This is a dramatic increase in the Atlantic, with 160% increase in the storms becoming major hurricanes over the last 40 years. Globally, the trend shows a 24% increase in the number of storms becoming major hurricanes.