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Is Climate Change to Blame for Hurricane Harvey and Irma?

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There is no doubt that all eyes have been on the south as flood waters rage through what many Americans call home. Climate change has been the prime suspect of what initially caused the violent storms Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Irma, but is climate change really to blame for the creation of one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history?  No. Climate change did not cause Hurricane Harvey or Irma, but it did enhance the severity of factors such as wind, flooding, and other serious damages involving the storm.

Hurricane Harvey and Irma has brought more water onto the United States land than any storm ever before.  People and many scientists have blamed global warming for the cause of this storm, but climate change is not what caused it, it only made the severity more drastic. A draft report made by 13 federal agencies as part of the National Climate Assessment say, that Hurricane Harvey is the result of a warmer climate, but it has only changed the severity of the storm, not what caused it.

Sea levels around the U.S. have risen over 15 cm in the past decade, resulting in the storm being half a foot higher than it would have been just years ago. Temperatures have sprung 1 degree from 87 degrees . Do all these climatic factors contribute to the violence  Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Michael Mann, a scientist at Pennsylvania State University, concludes that the rising sea levels “is more than half a foot over the past few decades” and is “attributable to climate change”. Some may say that Climate change is what caused Hurricane Harvey, and it did not. Climate change does not cause hurricanes. Hurricanes are caused by rising air, heat, and moisture. For as long as we have known this is how these tropical storms have been created.

It is pretty obvious that sea levels have been rising. NOAA states that sea levels in Rockport TX are rising at about 20 inches per century. So areas near Rockport most likely have climate change as a main tribute to why their flood levels are so insane.

The link between climate change and natural occurrences can be connected all the way to Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. A 2013 study, introduced in the journal Climatic Change, found that the severity of Hurricane Katrina would have been significantly less damaging if sea levels were not as high as they were and temperatures were lower.  If climate change did not exist, would it slow down Katrina’s 174 mph wind? And not kill as many as 1,833?

Jason Samenow, of the Washington Post, states that “Our best science indicates there is a 3 percent increase in atmospheric moisture content for every degree (F) of warming in the storm’s environment. As Harvey moved across the Gulf of Mexico, the sea surface temperatures were about 2 degrees warmer than normal, which means rainfall may have been enhanced by 6 percent or so, or a few inches.”

To be clear, Our best line to draw from climate change and Hurricane Harvey is that the Earth is getting warmer, and that is affecting what happens to us on land. Climate change may not be the cause for Hurricane Harvey, but is definitely has underlying factors that bring it to the surface of the ocean.

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Is Climate Change to Blame for Hurricane Harvey and Irma?