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We are all familiar with how climate change is gradually affecting our daily lives. Sea levels are gradually inching higher, habitats are slowly being lost, and our current weather patterns are being thrown off (leading to many other problems). One of the lesser-known effects of climate change is its effect on extreme weather events.
In the past, research has suggested that climate change will have a huge impact on events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts. These events are predicted to not only become more frequent but also more extreme. Increased intensity of extreme weather events is one of the main ways that people now can see the events of climate change directly. In addition, the effects of this are already affecting communities worldwide. With exacerbated disasters, death tolls, and estimated damage totals are also rising globally.
A recent study published in —Science advances— has generated hard data showing how climate change worsened Hurricane Florence. Hurricane Florence was a storm that hit the east coast of the United States and the various Caribbean and West Atlantic Islands in early September of 2018. Over 50 lives were lost and an estimated 24 Billion dollars in damages occurred. Using post-storm modeling that accounted for atmospheric changes due to climate change, researchers concluded that the storm was intensified in many ways. The storm’s mean maximum diameter was increased by about 9 kilometers and mean overland amounts of rainfall were increased by about 5 inches. These factors surely increased the damage totals significantly.
As climate change continues to play a role in our weather, we need to be prepared for the amplified effects of extreme weather. These problems will only continue to get worse unless we take a stand against climate change. Join Physis to fight for a better future!
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