Is extreme weather the new normal?
For the first time since record-keeping began, two Category 4 hurricanes have developed in the Eastern Pacific Basin before July 1st. Back in May, Hurricane Amanda was labeled the “strongest May hurricane on record,” and Hurricane Cristina rocketed to a Category 4 in only 13 days. Although that area of the world is more prone to hurricanes during El Nino years, that isn't forecast to take effect until later this summer.
These massive storms developed months earlier than normal, and warmer El Nino waters could bring even more hurricanes. While few people try to blame specific weather events on climate change, the fact that these storms are earlier, stronger, and more likely can only be the result of rising temperatures. Hurricanes gain strength over warmer water, so two category 4 storms show that ocean temperatures are pretty hot. Thankfully these storms stayed away from land, but there's no guarantee that the next storm with 150 mile an hour winds will stay off shore. These super storms can cause massive destruction, and leave areas struggling to recover for years.
Are we willing to sit back and accept that storms and droughts and devastating floods are only going to get worse? We can't undo the damage of Hurricane Sandy or magically end the drought in California, but we can do a heck of a lot more to keep these problems from getting more out of control. Fighting global warming isn't only about rising temperatures, it's about all of the things that warmer weather effects. We must do everything we can to prevent these super storms from getting even stronger.