Leading Scientist on Irma: 'Climate Change Effects Are No Longer Subtle'

Leading Scientist on Irma: 'Climate Change Effects Are No Longer Subtle'

Leading Scientist on Irma: 'Climate Change Effects Are No Longer Subtle'

He took action despite the hurricane track computer model projections that as of Monday showed Irma's path taking her anywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to the open Atlantic, missing Florida altogether.

Irma made landfall in the Caribbean on Wednesday, battering Barbuda and Saint Martin before making its way to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas before heading towards Cuba and Florida on Friday. And a new danger lay on the horizon to the east: Hurricane Jose, a Category 4 storm with 150 miles per hour winds that could punish some of the devastated areas all over again.

And whether or not Irma was emboldened by climate change, what's more telling are hurricane trends.

Earlier Friday, Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a category four hurricane, but remains "extremely risky", according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting rainfall between 15 to 25 inches for middle and upper parts of Texas in the next few days.

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"Just as others have helped NY recover from Sandy, Irene, Lee, and other severe, and increasingly common, '100-year storms, ' we will be there for those who need our help", he said in a statement Thursday. And we don't have any evidence yet that climate change has caused an increase in activity. Klotzbach is a research scientist at Colorado State University. "But what we can say is that climate change is amplifying the characteristics of these storms in a way that's making them more risky".

Dr. Mann stated that the frequency of hurricanes this season isn't as much cause for alarm as their rapid intensification.

The rise in global sea levels means there will be more destructive storm surges, he said, and a warmer ocean surface puts more moisture into the atmosphere. Now, the Atlantic goes through normal cycles of warming and cooling that have nothing to do with climate change, such as in response to the El Nino and La Nina weather cycles. This is especially true for Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, the states most vulnerable, but where climate change is still a political debate.

"The key word is 'watch out, '" he said.

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