Henry Fountain, The Hurricanes, and Climate-Change Questions, Keep Coming. Yes, They’re Linked, The New York Times, October 10, 2018
Warming and Hurricane Links
Scientists are increasingly confident of the links between global warming and hurricanes.
In a warming world, they say, hurricanes will be stronger, for a simple reason: Warmer water provides more energy that feeds them.
Hurricanes and other extreme storms will also be wetter, for a simple reason: Warmer air holds more moisture.
And, storm surges from hurricanes will be worse, for a simple reason that has nothing to do with the storms themselves: Sea levels are rising.
Through the WI Lens
This is a must-read for those who are still in denial about the reality of global warming and the dramatic increase extreme weather events (now becoming the norm).
Causality is always difficult to prove but there are already studies suggesting that the warming caused by all greenhouse-gas emissions have had an impact on the strength of hurricanes like hurricane Michael that just hit Florida.
New research shows that the difference in temperature between the ocean and the upper atmosphere determines how much a storm intensifies: a bigger temperature difference leads to the release of more energy into the storm, and the warmer the ocean, the bigger the difference.
Equally, human-caused warming affects the amount of water vapor in the air, triggering extreme precipitation events that have already increased in many parts of the world.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.