HURRICANE IAN MAKES LANDFALL IN FLORIDA
28.09.2022, Florida. Having already knocked out power throughout Cuba, Hurricane Ian is crashing into the western coast of Florida with its disastrous extreme trifecta of storm surges reaching 18 feet, torrential rains unleashing up to 24 inches, and winds just 1-2mph shy of being a Category 5 storm with gusts to 190mph.
Each of these extremes is life-threatening in itself but is catastrophic when together, especially when it has experienced “rapid intensification,” and residents are not able to adequately prepare. The gravity of this storm is the direct result of climate change. Normally, storms ease as they barrel toward the US coast, but Ian was able to strengthen from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane within 3 days due to the excessively warm water temperatures that power the storm. This process has been occurring more frequently in recent decades as the water continues to bake. Warmer air is also able to hold more moisture, contributing to more powerful cyclones.
Additionally, as this part of the world is vulnerable to sea level rise, which amplifies the effects of flooding and storm surges. As Greenland melt is the world’s largest contributor to sea level rise, and Arctic amplification is forcing temperatures to rise world over, mitigating change in the Arctic is paramount to controlling future catastrophes around the world. To understand how climate change in the Arctic drives global risks and shares significant responsibility in disasters like Ian, see https://arcticrisk.org
Click HERE for more information on the global risks from Arctic change.