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The Monthly Ram

Exploring How Climate Change is Affecting the Intensities of Seasonal Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones

For the past decades, climate change has been a common theme in politics, economics, as well as various industries that pertain to and rely on Earth’s natural resources. Florida along with the many islands in the Caribbean Sea has experienced an influx of hurricanes and tropical cyclones over the past century. Increasing ocean temperatures have resulted in rapidly increasing rates of evaporation in the Atlantic Ocean, which is the cause for the numerous heavy rainfalls that Florida experiences seasonally.

Rising sea levels are also responsible for intensified coastal storms and are predicted to worsen. Since 1900, the average sea level has risen approximately half a foot and is expected to rise another 1 to 2.5 feet this century. Florida’s coastal areas have and will continue to experience the detrimental effects of rising sea levels and are prone to extreme flooding during hurricane season. 


Studies have shown that with rising climates, damaging hurricanes are three times more likely to occur in comparison to a century ago and that the number of major hurricanes has doubled since 1980. In correlation with globally increasing ocean temperatures, there has been an increase in precipitation rates (an estimated 10-15% increase). From recent documented hurricane records it

has been shown that hurricanes’ ability to intensify has significantly increased due to warm waters. The rate at which hurricanes travel has lessened due to the fact that hurricanes and tropical cyclones begin to accumulate too much water the vapor that the hurricane is not able to propel itself at faster speeds. However, these lowering speeds allow hurricanes to intensify with the mass accumulation of water vapor prior to making landfall. Based on the collected data and research the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) speculates an increase in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes.

With the continuing controversies regarding climate change, hurricanes are prone to intensifying unless we collectively begin to participate in more environmentally friendly behaviors that will potentially accumulate to create a positive change in the earth’s rising temperatures. 

Written by: Lily Hartzema

Edited by: Ella Hood

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About the Contributor
Lily Hartzema, Writer
Lily is a senior at Eastside. She enjoys writing all things environmentally related. She is an avid photographer, traveler, and baker. Her favorite pastime is hanging out with her friends and her puppy Prima and listening to music. Some of her favorite genres are rap and r&b.
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