Friday, July 4, 2014

Stormy Weather

Most hurricanes that I've been aware of, start as small disturbances off the east coast of Africa. These systems typically cross the Atlantic westward towards the Caribbean, and they may strengthen into tropical storms or even hurricanes.

A quick Google search informs me that a hurricane does not have to emerge in this fashion only. Anywhere that the right conditions exist can give rise to these sorts of weather events. This year's first named tropical storm, Arthur, did not spring forth from Africa, but organized itself just off the coast of Florida.

In recent years, hurricanes along the eastern seaboard of the United States have been far more frequent, and incredibly destructive. Climate scientists theorize that climate change could be playing a role in the increased number of tropical storms and nor'easters that have pummeled the North American coast.

Now, we have Hurricane Arthur, bubbling forth in the warm Florida waters without the need to incubate in the more usual method via Africa. Speaking anecdotally, I can't remember another hurricane springing forth from the vicinity of Florida.

Is this a sign of things to come? It's long past time to get serious about undoing the damage we've done to our environment. 

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