FAQs about Hurricanes

6. Is there any relationship between global warming and hurricanes?

There are conflicting opinions on this. So far there has been no hard evidence to give an affirmative answer to the question. Every time an extraordinary phenomenon happens, there has already been a precedent, many times 50 or 100 years ago, when there was no talk of global warming. However, since Hurricane Irma (Sep-2017) something unprecedented occurred: for the first time a cyclone acquired category 5 in the Atlantic Ocean. During the same month Hurricane Maria took a similar intensity, which raises suspects about the relationship between global warming and the comportment of hurricanes. Finally, the opinion of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), which works in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and whose mission is “to promote the scientific understanding of climate and its natural and anthropogenic variations and impacts, as well as improving the predictive capabilities of NOAA through the development and use of computer models of the Earth System”, is of the opinion that “it is premature to conclude that human activities – and in particular the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming – have already had a detectable impact on the Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. ”

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