We are in the thick of the 2022 hurricane season with activity picking up in the Atlantic as of late. Some of that action includes a few named systems that have intensified rapidly during their life cycle. In this week’s Two Degree Difference, we are focusing on new research that shows climate change as a driver for more hectic than normal hurricane seasons.

Warming ocean waters are fueling stronger tropical cyclones year after year. Tropical cyclones are the most costly and deadly weather disasters in the United States. Out of the ten most costly weather disasters in the United States, eight of them were hurricanes.

The effects of climate change on hurricanes are complex but easy to see. Research does indicate rising temperatures are causing hurricanes to become more intense. Higher rainfall rates are expected with further warming as well. Not to mention, rising sea levels further enhance the risk of flooding from tropical cyclones, sometimes increasing hurricane damages by billions of dollars.

While the frequency of landfalling hurricanes in the U.S. has not changed since 1900, the resulting economic losses have increased significantly. This is a sure sign that climate change is continuing to take a major toll on all of our seasons and local economies.