Claim: ‘Global warming may have been part of cause that Harvey rapidly intensified’
Scientists are uncertain about whether or not global warming will cause more hurricanes. In fact, some scientists say that a warmer planet will actually result in fewer hurricanes. However, that is not the entire story. A warming world means that ocean temperatures increase too, and we all know that warm ocean water is the fuel that powers hurricanes.
So even if the coming decades show a decrease in overall hurricanes, those hurricanes that do develop in otherwise favorable conditions will likely be stronger.
The bottom line is that our future may be one of fewer but stronger hurricanes. Is that good or bad news? Fewer hurricanes mean a lower chance that one hits the U.S. coastline. But a hurricane that does form and heads toward the U.S. will likely be stronger, with a more severe storm surge and higher winds.
Something else to consider is that, as the world warms, more ocean water evaporates into the atmosphere (which has been documented — it’s happening).This water vapor is what hurricanes turn into rainfall.