Hurricane Dorian has devastated the islands.
- Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahama Islands for nearly two days.
- Over half of the island was submerged in water.
- Climate scientists are starting to think that the intensification and length of hurricanes can be traced to climate change.
Hurricane Dorian’s Bahamas destruction<p>Aerial footage shows absolute destruction in Hurricane Dorian's wake. Shipping containers torn and strewn about, houses decimated and boats flung far from the coast inland. Photos from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/OURNewsREV/posts/2515879225117618?__tn__=-R" target="_blank">a local news source "Our News,"</a> shows the damage in more detail. </p><p>Hurricane Dorian is the strongest hurricane in history to make landfall and hit the Bahamas. Winds peaked at 185 mph, it's only surpassed by 1980's Hurricane Allen which hit speeds of 190 mph. Although it was a little faster, that hurricane paled in comparison to the duration and intensity that Dorian wrought on the Bahamas.</p><p>In the past few days after initial landfall in the Bahamas, the hurricane has been battering the East Coast as a lessened Category 2 storm. </p><p>The hurricane has broken records for its length and intensity as it spent a lot of time over the Bahamas. This is the fourth straight year in a row, where a Category 5 hurricane has formed in the Atlantic. It's now the longest streak on record. </p><p>The definition of a Category 5 storm is explained in the following manner:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months."</p><p>The severity of this last storm is the greatest ever experienced by a populated region in the Atlantic.</p>
Climate change and stronger hurricanes<p>Scientists generally agree that warmer temperatures are causing storms to become stronger and longer lasting. </p><p><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-019-0074-8" target="_blank">Research published</a> in the journal <em>Climate and Atmospheric Science</em> by NASA scientist Tim Hall indicated that storms are becoming much more likely to stall over land, prolonging the damages and catastrophe for a community. More rains will fall and there's a faster onset of flash floods. </p><p>Hall found that hurricanes have slowed around 17 percent since 1944, while annual coastal rainfall from hurricanes has increased by about 40 percent. </p><p>Hall was still surprised by the extent of damage that the hurricane caused. </p><p>In reference to watching the storm's path Hall said,"Just spinning there, spinning there, spinning there, over the same spot, you can't help but be awestruck to the point of speechlessness." </p><p>Although the storm is shocking, leading meteorologists and climate scientists predict that more hurricanes will have this kind of intensity as the climate warms.</p><p>Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a study in February, titled "<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-08471-z" target="_blank">Recent increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates</a>," with new data regarding the cause of this phenomenon. At one point they write, "Natural variability cannot explain the magnitude of the observed upward trend."</p><p>A whole host of issues comes along with stalled hurricanes and rapid intensification. The science isn't concrete yet, but experts have a sinking suspicion that climate change is to blame — at least in part — for this new type of monster hurricane that ravaged the Bahamas.</p>
Contrary to popular belief, the Amazon rainforest does not produce 20% of our planet's oxygen.
Fires in the Amazon rainforest have captured attention worldwide in recent days. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in 2019, pledged in his campaign to reduce environmental protection and increase agricultural development in the Amazon, and he appears to have followed through on that promise.
The Category 5 hurricane was moving at speeds of about 1 mph over the Bahamas on Sunday and Monday.
- Hurricane Dorian is one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record, with wind speeds of more than 200 mph.
- The storm was moving slowly over the Bahamas as a result of clashing high- and low-pressure systems.
- It's unclear whether climate change is causing shifts in large-scale wind patterns, but scientists generally agree that warmer temperatures are causing storms to become stronger.
A pattern of stalling hurricanes<p>In recent years, scientists have identified a pattern: Severe hurricanes are not only becoming stronger and more common, but many are also moving more slowly and even stalling, as Hurricane Harvey did over Houston for days in 2017, dumping 60 inches of rain in the process. A study published in June by <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-019-0074-8" target="_blank">NASA and NOAA scientists</a> showed that the average forward speed of North Atlantic hurricanes has slowed from 11.5 mph in 1944 to 9.6 mph in 2017.</p><p>So, is climate change making hurricanes slower? It's too early to say for sure, and the issue is still an area of debate among climate scientists. In the case of Dorian, the violent storm stalled above the Bahamas because, somewhat ironically, the atmosphere was too calm; a <a href="https://www.apnews.com/e4828708f88c4a5787986287a1d87c36" target="_blank">clash between high- and low-pressure systems caused the weather pattern to come to a standstill</a>.</p>
An extinction events expert sounds a dire warning.
- The supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park could cause an "ultra-catastrophe," warns an extinction events writer.
- The full eruption of the volcano last happened 640,000 years ago.
- The blast could kill billions and make United States uninhabitable.
Volcanic ash eruption.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States. May 2016.
Credit: Russell Pearson/Getty Images