If you have been watching the news these last few years you have probably noticed that extreme weather events like stronger hurricanes, flooding, droughts and heat waves are becoming more commonplace, not only here in the United States, but around the world.
A great deal of research points to global warming as one explanation for the increase in these unusual weather occurrences.
These extreme weather events will bring major costs to all of us: more heat-related illness and death, loss of life and property damage from more intense storms, rising insurance rates, decreased agricultural productivity, and more wildfires.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists:
“Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones have always bedeviled coasts, but global warming may be making matters worse. Sea level is rising and will continue to rise as oceans warm and glaciers melt. Rising sea level means higher storm surges, even from relatively minor storms, which increase coastal flooding and subsequent storm damage along coasts. In addition, the associated heavy rains can extend hundreds of miles inland, further increasing the risk of flooding.
"Recent scientific evidence suggests a link between the destructive power (or intensity) of hurricanes and higher ocean temperatures, driven in large part by global warming. With rapid population growth in coastal regions placing many more people and structures in the path of these tropical cyclones there is a much greater risk of casualties, property damage, and financial hardship when these storms make landfall.”1