Op-Ed: Hurricane Ian and the coming climate crash
Hurricane Ian is on track to form a new Atlantic hurricane season in record time. It’s already being counted as the strongest storm ever to form in the Atlantic basin. And it is just one more storm in an increasingly dangerous pattern: a string of cyclones now forming every three to five years.
The pattern is unprecedented. Only 14 other storms formed during every single month in the record-setting 2011-2012 Atlantic hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And every storm has formed at least 90 days before the end of the season, with nine of them appearing at least 90 days after the end of hurricane season.
How this year’s pattern will play out as Hurricane Florence is preparing to slam into the East Coast is unclear. But the pattern appears to be developing at a faster pace than normal.
The most likely outcome is that more than 20 or 25 storms will form between now and the end of this year alone, according to NOAA’s season-ending activity forecasters. The last 12 to 15 storms formed at a rate of 8 or 9 per season, which is a relatively normal rate.
This trend points to a major climate change signal, and it will be amplified by human activities. For the past 40 years the U.S. has managed, with great success, to dodge the heat of the climate crash. The last 11 years, however, have seen the U.S. approach the climate crash, with dramatic economic damages, with rising seas, and with increasingly violent storms.
The climate crash is happening now. The U.S. is in denial about the threat it faces, and no amount of well-meaning hand wringing by its leadership will change that.
We are on a path to unprecedented heat and extreme weather.
It is entirely possible that Hurricane Florence could be the beginning of the end for climate civilization.
Climate scientists have warned of the coming climate crash for years, but most American states have been slow to act, despite their climate literacy as demonstrated by the fact that the U.S