CHEAT SHEET: Climate change plays an impactful role with hurricanes in North Carolina - Elon News Network

The cheat sheet is an interview with a relevant expert to explain complex topics

Recent hurricanes and tropical storms, such as Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas, are continuing to impact coastal communities along the East Coast, including North Carolina.

Walter Robinson, co-director of the Climate Change Society Program at North Carolina State University, discusses the effects climate change has on influencing extreme weather events encountering the coastlines of North Carolina.

How has climate change played a role in producing more extreme weather events, like hurricanes, in recent years?

“There’s two aspects to this. There’s a lot of other factors, but in general the warmer the ocean is, the more energy there is to make a hurricane form or hurricane stronger. So, it’s not clear we’re getting more hurricanes, but the strongest hurricanes can get stronger and we’re seeing signs of these storms — what we call rapid intensification, they grow very quickly. So, this is more energy they can take out of the ocean, the ocean is warmer. That’s one effect. The other effect is even if the storm has the same strength, in other words the winds are about the same size, a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor that can condense into rain….The same size storm in a warmer climate, you’ll get more rain. These storms produce more rain and we saw that. Now, we’re seeing even in Ida, forgetting about New Orleans which you mentioned earlier…the Central Park rain gauge in New York...

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