Hurricane Fiona and two typhoons show how bad climate change is: they are getting wetter and stronger

Increasingly Powerful and Wetter Storms, Such as Hurricane Fiona and Two Typhoons, Highlight the Dire Consequences of Climate Change

This past weekend, three different, far-flung regions of the world were hit by powerful storms, all of which were exacerbated in intensity and rainfall by climate change. In the past 72 hours, we have seen the terrible consequences of torrential rain and floods from Hurricane Fiona’s path of destruction over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to the battering of Japan by Typhoon Nanmadol to the lingering effects of Typhoon Merbok in Alaska.

Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that the three storms over the weekend are indicative of a trend toward wetter storms in a warmer future. It’s going to grow even worse during the worst storms, he predicted.

This weekend’s extreme weather events provide a preview of what may become more prevalent in the future as climate change makes storms rainier and more violent. According to Kevin Reed, an associate professor of atmospheric science at Stony Brook University in New York, increased rainfall is one of the most visible ways in which climate change has impacted storms in recent years.

Hurricane Fiona and two typhoons show how bad climate change is: they are getting wetter and stronger

Warming oceans throughout the world fuel the development of more powerful storms. Reed has found that a warmer environment can also contain more moisture. Warmer water leads to more evaporation, which leads to more moisture in the air, which leads to more precipitation, he explained.

The Atlantic hurricane season had been relatively quiet until this past weekend, but according to Reed, the height of the season typically occurs around the middle of September, meaning more intense storms are still to come. Even though things have been pretty calm recently, he said, “Hurricane Fiona is a reminder that things may change and strong storms can have a fairly huge impact.”

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Wetter and more powerful than usual: Hurricane Fiona and two typhoons emphasize climate change worries.

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