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By: Marc Morano - Climate DepotAugust 25, 2017 4:48 PM
By Brendan Gibbons
August 25, 2017
Global warming is making the oceans hotter, fueling the intensity and flooding potential of storms like Harvey, climate scientists said as the hurricane approached.
Driven by higher-than-average temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, Harvey quickly intensified Thursday and is likely to reach Category 3 hurricane status before it hits the Texas Coast.
Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf on Thursday were up to 2 degrees above normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.
The average temperature for most of the Gulf was 86 degrees, said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
“That makes it almost the hottest spot on the planet” for sea surface temperatures, Trenberth said. “It’s an area that’s ripe for vigorous development to occur.”
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