How Climate Change Is Making Super Hurricanes + What You Can Do
7 minute read
Mother Nature definitely has her moments. While we have come a long way in tracking and predicting hurricanes, there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately, human behavior has led to climate change, resulting in changes to the phenomena climates bring about, like hurricanes.
As scientists continue to research hurricanes, the prediction is that they will only get stronger, slower and wetter. This change in hurricane behavior has far-reaching consequences both for today and tomorrow.
The Hurricanes of Change
With climate change and the environmental changes we see happening around us, there is real fear as to how this will impact the forces of nature. Just as changes in temperature and resources affect us, they will inevitably cause change in the weather.
More specifically, they will affect the forces of nature, such as hurricanes. Scientists have developed tools that show us how much stronger hurricanes of today would be if they had happened in a future, warmer climate.
Hurricane Ike, which killed more than 100 people along the Gulf Coast in 2008, would have been a different beast altogether if it happened in the future. The current path of our climate puts us in danger, as global warming impacts these natural forces.
A warmer climate would have caused Hurricane Ike to be 34-percent wetter and to have 13-percent stronger winds. As we move into the future, we will see natural storms get stronger.
Hurricane Harvey last year perfectly demonstrated this point, as it dropped more than four feet of rain in some locations along its path. This rainfall broke records and indicated to scientists that even more rainfall was ahead for future hurricanes.
These record-breaking changes are thought to be the result of climate change as well as environmental factors, like increased developments along the coastal areas. As each hurricane season causes more damage, focus on environmental change becomes critical.
Your Impact on Hurricanes
Scientists believe that if we continue on our current path, the significant climate changes will not only alter available resources, but it will force nature to change. Wetter, stronger hurricanes will mean more damage, more lives lost, and more expensive repair costs.
Natural disasters are, well, natural, so there is really no way to control or stop them (yet). However, we know that global warming is a very real threat, and there is plenty we can do about that. These options include:
Cutting out on the amount of time you spend in a car will significantly reduce emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Take public transport, ride a bike or carpool to save gas can save the environment.
The gas and oil companies are major contributors of climate-polluting emissions, so the less you use, the less pollution we get.
Renewable energy sources are quickly becoming the trend as we race to reverse the damage already done to the planet. Solar, wind, and water power are all renewable and effective ways of creating energy without releasing toxic byproducts into the air and land around us.
Be Energy Wise
When you do need to use energy, use it wisely. Making small changes to your energy consumption can make a big difference.
Unplug your electronics when you are not using them (instead of leaving them in “rest”mode), turn off lights when they are not in use, wash clothes in cold or warm water rather than hot water, hang dry your clothes whenever possible, and winterize your home to avoid wasteful heat loss.
Forget Fossil Fuels
As much as fossil fuels have powered industrial revolutions and the success of many countries, they have also been harming the environment. Join groups and organizations that work to stop the use of fossil fuels and if given the opportunity ensure your work or schools do not invest in them.
Not investing in their companies shows them that you mean business and that the environment means more to you.
You may not think that what you eat impacts the environment, but you would be wrong. By making a few changes to your eating habits, you can do your part to save the climate, and ultimately prevent worse natural disasters. Buy organic and local whenever possible. Don’t waste food, and grow your own food as often as you can.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
You can start using less products and reuse wherever you can. The less new products you buy, the less waste will be generated. Buy a reusable water bottle, reuse plastic bags and recycle glass, metal, plastic, and paper to reduce the overall amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Use Less Water
Turning off the water when you are brushing your teeth, washing clothes in cooler water, and limiting water use for showers and washing dishes will save energy. It may not seem like saving water helps the climate, but by reducing the amount of energy required to heat the water, you save on energy production which does contribute to global warming.
Plant a Tree
By planting trees in your garden or joining an organization that plants trees in the community, you can make your city greener and prevent global warming. Trees give out oxygen that we need and take in carbon dioxide which is one of the main contributing factors to global warming.
Regular maintenance on your car helps it to function effectively and reduces the carbon dioxide emissions into the air. In addition to this, you should avoid idling your car even in the cold weather, as this adds unnecessary emissions to the air around us.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of the environment is not just a task for the naturalists and environmentally-friendly groups. It is something we should all be doing and just by employing a few of these eco-friendly tips and tricks, you can have a large impact. What we put out into the environment comes back to us. We increase waste and we get more air pollution and the associated diseases in return. We force the climate to change and we get stronger natural storms that come with large death tolls. Mother Nature is talking but how closely are we listening?
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