by P. Driessen, Oct 10, 2022 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Hurricane Ian is in the history books, having unleashed its Category 4 fury on southwestern Florida.
Even as the area slowly digs out and rebuilds, the devastation and tragedies will linger in reality and memories.
Ian was the latest of 123 hurricanes to hit the Sunshine State since official recordkeeping began in 1851. But unsurprisingly, some wasted no time trying to link Ian to the most dominant issue of our time. [bold, links added]
Climate change is “rapidly fueling super hurricanes,” a Washington Post headline proclaimed.
“I grew up [in Florida] and these storms are intensifying,” CNN’s Don Lemon insisted.
Rising temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean are making hurricanes “stronger, slower and wetter,” reporter Morgan McFall-Johnsen asserted.
They’re becoming more frequent and intense, multiple commentators pronounced.
Ian should have “finally ended” the debate about “whether there’s climate change,” President Biden stated, as he assessed damage along Florida’s Gulf Coast with Governor and First Lady DeSantis.
The newest fearmongering is slightly more sophisticated. Now hurricanes are gaining strength more rapidly because of fossil fuels. The phenomenon even has a fancy name: “rapid intensification.”
This clever claim cannot be proven or disproven, because we didn’t have technologies to measure how rapidly certain storms intensified even a few decades ago.