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Climate change vs. natural disasters

Mariah Wood

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Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria have left a trail of damage and flooding in their wake. Texas officials report 82 deaths as a result of Harvey according to the New York Times, The Miami Herald reports 26 deaths due to Irma, and there have been at least 17 casualties because of Maria so far according to CNBC. All of these forces of nature unleashing mass destruction raises the question: Has climate change caused the recent natural disasters, or is their arrival sheer chance?

  Scientific consensus paramountly agrees that climate change did not cause the hurricanes. There is an Atlantic hurricane season every year. However, warmer oceans and rising sea levels suggests that it did worsen their magnitude and therefore their effects. “The short version is, climate change makes these very bad storms worse,” Sean Sublette, a meteorologist with Climate Central, said. Over the past century, the world’s oceans have warmed from an average of one to three degrees Fahrenheit and sea level has increased around seven incheskey factors to exacerbating hurricanes.  

 The devastation causes some, like Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to believe that addressing climate change right now is insensitive. Others vehemently disagree. In the hope to decrease the effects of future hurricanes, the time to discuss climate change is now.

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The Official Online Newspaper of Skyline High School
Climate change vs. natural disasters