Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was a category 4 hurricane that hit the Florida Panhandle earlier this month. It had 155 mph winds when it hit land, the strongest the US has ever seen. This is the seventh hurricane the Atlantic basin has seen this year and has killed 32 people so far and done $4.5 billion in damage. Rebuilding will take years.

    Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas a month ago. Rated as a category 4 hurricane, 51 people were killed. The damages are estimated at upwards of $13 billion. The local farms and livestock were destroyed by flood water. Only $1.2 billion has been given to relief from the government.

    In case you forgot, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico a little over a year ago; almost nothing has been recovered outside of the major cities. As of August, almost 3,000 people have died. People are still struggling to get clean water and food and power was only restored a month ago. Puerto Rico needs around $140 billion to full restore. It is plainly obvious that the current administration has neglected our fellow citizens, but also the world itself.

Hurricanes are rated on a 1-5 scale, with 3 and up being classified as “major.” They form near the equator in warm water. Cold wind from the Atlantic evaporates the warm water, causing it to rise and condense into a cloud. Wind inside of the cloud increases making a column, once it reached 74 mph it is officially a tropical cyclone.  

The UN released a statement at the beginning of the month stating that we have maybe 10 years to make some drastic changes if we want to help save our planet. As we can see from these devastating storms, the door is closing quickly. The rising sea levels will create higher storm surge levels, or how big the tides will get during a cyclone. Rainfall rates will increase up to 15% and storm size will increase causing more damage; category 4 and 5 storms will become normal. There is significant evidence to show that storm intensity and frequency have sharply increased since the 1970s. https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/

With the amount of deaths and money these decimating hurricanes are costing us (and will continue to) we should be focusing on believing scientist when they say that climate change is real. Action needs to happen now, and it will be expensive. If we want to save our citizens, our planet, and our wallets, something needs to change, because these storms aren’t going anywhere.