WASHINGTON (AP) — With four big hurricanes, a powerful earthquake and wildfires, it seems that nature recently has just gone nuts.
Some of these disasters, like Friday’s earthquake in Mexico, are natural. Others may end up having a mix of natural and man-made ingredients after scientists examine them. We also always tend to look for patterns and order in chaos, even when they aren’t there, psychologists say.
“Nature’s gone crazy,” mused Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private service Weather Underground. “Welcome to the future. Extreme weather like this is going to be occurring simultaneously more often because of global warming.”
It can take weeks or months for scientists to determine whether an extreme weather event was worsened by man-made climate change. But scientists have long predicted that the strongest hurricanes will get stronger and wetter, fueled by warmer ocean water. And some say the recent global increase in powerful hurricanes fits perfectly with global warming.