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09/08/17

09/08/17

By SCM Staff

Photo by NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)
Bracing for Irma

The hurricane barreled through the Turks and Caicos Islands en route to Florida. It was one of several major hurricanes in the Atlantic last season—along with Harvey, Maria, and Jose.

Why was the season so destructive? Climate change was likely a factor. Though scientists are careful to avoid pointing to one event and saying, “See? We told you so!” notes Iris Stewart-Frey, an associate professor of environmental studies and sciences whose research focuses on water cycles. “But the physics of climate change are pretty well known, and this is consistent with what we know,” she says.

One office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledges: “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average.”

Get generation-specific, and a recent poll shows three-fourths of millennials believe that steps should be taken to slow or stop climate change. Wired magazine founder John Battelle puts the concern of people in their 20s and 30s in more stark terms: “Climate change is to millennials what mutually assured destruction was for boomers: an existential threat.”

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