Global Heating Made Hurricane Dorian Bigger, Wetter – and more Deadly.
On a basic physics level, we know that warm waters fuel hurricanes, and Dorian was strengthened by waters well above average temperatures. The fact that climate change has heated up our oceans means Dorian was stronger than it would have been had we not spent the past 150 years dumping carbon pollution into the atmosphere. Sea surface temperatures were more than 1C warmer in the region where Dorian formed and strengthened than they were before we started burning fossil fuels. We know that the warmer air gets, the more moisture it can hold – and then turn into flooding rains in a storm like this. And we know that as climate change has melted glaciers and ice around the world, that water has gone into the oceans. The extra water, along with the expansion of water as it’s warmed, means that sea levels have been raised. That means when a storm like Dorian makes landfall, there’s more water for its storm surge, already bolstered by stronger winds, to push further inland. All that extra water makes hurricanes even more deadly, since it’s generally not the wind but the water that kills people. So although Dorian’s 220mph gusts were incredibly dangerous (and sped up thanks to climate change), it was the 20-plus feet of storm surge and torrential rains that were the most destructive elements. Facts and Figures : 1. The Oceans have been Storing 93% of the Heat Caused by Global Warming. 2. Since 1980, the Number of Category 5 Storms has Tripled. 3. Dorian Brought a Storm Surge of 18 to 23 Feet. 4. Dorian Dumped Over 30 Inches of Rain on Top of the Surge. Credit: THE YEARS PROJECT
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.