Hurricanes like Laura

a result of climate crisis

Editor, The News:

Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm, quickly strengthening from a Category 1 intensity. The rapid rise in the force of the wind is caused when three factors are present:

•The water over which the storm is forming is warm – the Gulf of Mexico has been like a bathtub this year;

•There is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere – the warmer the temperature, the more moisture the air can hold;

•Wind shear has to be just right.

The climate crisis we are all living in has provided two of the three ingredients for harmful hurricanes. The last five years have been the hottest on record; and the oceans absorb 90 percent of that heat. Each degree increase in temperature allows the air to hold about 4 percent more water. So with the temperature of the water in the Gulf of Mexico in the high 80s, monster storms become much more likely.

And it’s not just the Gulf. According to the EPA, average ocean temperature has been rising since 1987. So the probability of strong hurricanes is becoming greater.

This is just one of the effects that the climate crisis is causing. We’re seeing torrential downpours in the Midwest, a megadrought and wildfires in the western U.S., infestations of our forests all over the country.

Burning fossil fuels is the main cause of the climate crisis. We must take action to stop the burning. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), with 82 co-sponsors in the House, is the best way to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

Learn about EICDA at www.energyinnovationact.org and tell your Member of Congress and Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey to quickly pass this important legislation.

Bruce Cooper

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Slippery Rock chapter

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