Hurricane Irma exposes Trump's wilful blindness on climate change

Paul McDevitt

Back in 2012, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert famously ridiculed North Carolina as the state that outlawed climate change.

But public concern has been moving in the right direction lately, boosted by opposition to President Trump's cavalier attitude about this threat-and that is likely to be accelerated by the latest events. Irrespective of whether they are named as hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons, the impact delivered by them is the same - and that is unimaginable loss to life and property.

And then there is the global ocean watermark, which has gone up 20 centimetres (eight inches) on average since the 1880s, and is set to rise far more by century's end. The world's records for most intense hurricane (by wind speed) remain tied: Sustained winds of 215 miles per hour for Typhoon Nancy (1961) in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Patricia (2015) in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The eye remains at low pressure and calm with strong winds from all around flowing into it.

"When discussing climate "change" it is vital to understand that a single event (or even a single year) does not lead one to see how the climate is changing", said Paul Sirvatka, a professor of earth science at College of DuPage.

Southern Texas and southern Florida lie ravaged by record-breaking hurricanes. Irma was a Category 4 storm when it made landfall. Whether future hurricanes will remain over water or threaten the USA coast again is an unknown variable.

One day before Hurricane Irma started battering the Florida coast, editors at Newsweek made the decision to run an op-ed from the Cato Institute titled "Don't Blame Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Climate Change". However, this does demonstrate the accuracy of our long-term seasonal hurricane predictions as this year was predicted to be an above-average hurricane year.

When I first heard of a hurricane churning away in the Atlantic Ocean named "Irma", the first thing I wondered was whether it was spelled with an "E" or an "I". In general, hurricanes have not changed much in the last few decades in terms of size or intensity. I'm not counting Category 3 hurricane Joaquin, as it just missed the United States, but it did generate bad flooding in SC and drowned all 33 sailors (28 Americans) on the S.S. El Faro.

A significant debate unfolded during the first two years of the Obama administration but produced no legislation, even though Democrats controlled the entire government. Because it is water that powers hurricanes, hotter oceans and more evaporation should produce, in part, more intense hurricanes. Many other studies have come to the same conclusion.

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The stock has "Buy" rating by ABN Amro on Monday, January 30. (NYSE:OKE) earned "Hold" rating by Jefferies on Thursday, August 31. Zacks Investment Research downgraded ASML Holding N.V. from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a research report on Wednesday.

Trump to visit the disaster that Hurricane Irma left behind
While detectives sought clues to the deaths, emergency workers went door-to-door to look for anyone else who was at risk. She said she had yet to see any state or federal agencies or utility companies working on the ground yet.

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Brady's success in an aerial duel from James Tarkowksi's long ball forward allowed Wood to help the ball into the path of Arfield. Scott Arfield gave the Clarets a lead in the 27th minute with a fine finish which left Simon Mignolet stranded between the posts.

"The irony is that hurricanes are known for wind, yet wind is third on the list of lethal aspects", after storm surges and flooding caused by rain. The impact of climate change on those many other factors is still being studied.

Not only will the companies you own suffer as society begins to abandon fossil fuels in earnest, they will also be dragged through the courts here and overseas for their long-standing malfeasance and denial of what they have done to the world. How much more strain can be put on the National Flood Insurance Program-already $24 billion in the red from Hurricane Katrina?

It is always hard to attribute one storm's impact to climate change. Yet the president hasn't retracted his claim that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Climate is "long-term", while meteorology is "short-term".

Perhaps a more telling graph for Reynolds to consider would be a scientifically-sound one that contradicts his points about sea level temperature increases, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. And it was just a matter of time before we were due for a strong hurricane.

"Humanity has contributed significantly to climate change by releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere-primarily by burning fossil fuels", Fowles said.

For meteorologists and researchers at the University of Arizona, the recent hurricane activity is what they expected and have been studying with great interest. "People act like hurricanes like these have never happened".

Abandoning the only global effort able to address the grave problem of climate change only guarantees Colorado will have to find ways to address an environmental problem that risks not just state economics, but our lives as well.

To schedule an interview or live broadcast from our radio/HDTV studio on campus, or to receive a press kit with print and broadcast quality photography, reach out to ASU media relations.

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