Hurricane Ian from the ISS -- NASA photo
Note the earth's curvature
We extend deepest sympathies to our fellow citizens in Florida after this massive climate disaster.
Monster hurricanes don't just happen on their own. They're being fueled by earth's energy imbalance.
Why Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger, Faster -- NYT
Warming Oceans Fuel Higher Winds
More than 90 percent of the excess heat from human-caused global warming over the past 50 years has been absorbed by the oceans.
Those winds intensify more rapidly
Not only do warmer oceans make storms stronger, they make the rate of intensification more rapid. Which means:
The window of time to make decisions gets smaller.
If officials working with forecasters issue an evacuation order too early, they risk unnecessarily sending hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, scrambling, jamming highways and snarling transit systems, potentially more dangerous and costly than staying in place, as well as eroding public trust. If they're too late, people die.
Warming oceans will be with us for a very long time, so the sooner we get emissions under control, the better. Recently passed legislation is a good start, but carbon pricing will be necessary to hit our target.
VOTE like your life depends on it. Elect politicians who understand the urgency of our situation and who will work to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed necessary. If you want to get directly involved, go to Environmental Voter Project, for example. They'll put you to work in these last few weeks.
How should the increased threat of climate-fueled hurricanes be conveyed to the public? The old hurricane categories don't cut it any more.
Rick Knight, CCL Research Coordinator
"The hurricane scale which ranks storms from Category 1 to 5 according to maximum sustained wind speed, introduced in 1973 to help predict potential structural damage, tells us nothing about the overall size of the storm, its duration, the amount of rainfall, or the scale of flooding from the associated storm surge. Those metrics are missing from the ‘categories’ that you hear repeated endlessly in news reporting."
"This composite radar pic superimposes two storms: 2022’s Ian and 2004’s Charley, both of which hit Florida as Category 4 storms at the same location. Although both were ranked as Category 4, the entirety of Charley fits inside just the eye of Ian! As you might suspect, the scope of devastation from Ian far exceeded that of Charley." Ocean heat content is to blame.