One of nature’s most destructive forces is the Hurricane. Hurricanes that impact the United States mostly occur in the Atlantic and travel into the Gulf of Mexico. With winds up to 190 miles per hour, nothing can stand in the way of the most extreme category 5 hurricanes. Hurricanes destroy cities, homes, agriculture and anything in their way due to their high winds and intense rains. Recently, scientists have been supporting the idea that an increase of annual hurricane numbers has been tied to global climate change. The United States must protect its citizens from hurricanes through emergency notification systems, emergency neighborhood cooperation efforts, and reduce its contribution to global climate change.
The article in published in the Scientific American presents the notion of increasing frequency of hurricanes are a result of anthropogenic forces. Global warming is one of the largest contributing factors to increased Hurricane occurances. Hurricanes are fueled and intensified by warm ocean waters, which have been increasing due to global warming. According to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, “There has been an average of one additional tropical cyclone for each 0.1-degree Celsius increase in sea surface temperature and one hurricane for each 0.2-degree Celsius rise” (Scientific American). The increase in global temperatures brought about by climate change can be linked to increased water temperature. Globally, areas of warm-ocean have nearly tripled in size since the beginning of the 20th century, from roughly 17 million square miles to more than 46 million square miles (scientific American). As oceans have warmed there has undoubtedly been a resultant increase in hurricane numbers. This idea of increased hurricane numbers over time is supported directly by Webster and Holland’s Hurricane data, “Looking at data from 1855 through 2005, Webster and Holland found that the total number of tropical cyclones per year doubled in that time, from an average of six at the beginning of last century to 14 over the past decade” (Scientific American). An increase of six to fourteen hurricanes annually on average has resulted in a substantial increase in property damage and destruction.
The view of hurricanes proposed in the Scientific American article, are rooted in the current environmental movement to decrease climate change. It is an article written by scientists for the educated public audience. The authors refute the argument that an increase in hurricanes is due to an increase in hurricane tracking technology. (Scientific American) This source provides ample information to support the idea that hurricane frequency is tied to rising ocean temperatures, which is caused by global climate change.
In the documentary Hot Cites, several first hand accounts of hurricane survivors in Cuba are presented. Cuba, a developing country, is often directly hit by hurricanes due to its proximate location to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic...