As Hurricane Ian rages through the East Coast, it has been causing catastrophic damages. With the changing climate, it brings up the question of whether or not hurricanes, like Ian, are getting stronger and causing more damage.
Are hurricanes getting stronger?
In the past four decades, researchers have found that global warming and climate change have increased the chances of a hurricane becoming categorized as a 3 or higher major hurricane, according to The New York Times.
“On average, there have been more storms, stronger hurricanes and increase in hurricanes that rapidly intensify,” NASA reports.
In 2020, the world saw a record-breaking hurricane season. According to NASA, the 2020 season had 30 named storms, an untypical amount of storms that caused billions of dollars in damage.
Scientists believe that although a rise in hurricane numbers is uncertain, hurricanes will certainly continue to increase in strength and severity, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
How does the climate impact hurricanes?
CBS News reports that NOAA experts found that climate change increases the strength of hurricanes because of ocean warming.
Hurricanes form from heat from tropical storms and as a hurricane moves, it uses warm ocean air as fuel. As ocean temperatures rise due to climate change, the more fuel hurricanes obtain, making them stronger.
Climate change also causes storms to move slower with more water downpour, per The Associated Press.
What is the worst recorded hurricane?
The worst recored hurricane was in 1780 and is considered the “Great Hurricane,” according to The New York Times. This hurricane swept through the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean and resulted in more than 20,000 deaths.