Trump Says “No Way of Really Understanding” if Climate Change is Worsening Hurricanes. Experts Say Otherwise.
This weekend, Trump visited two areas devastated by Hurricane Laura — Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Orange, Texas — and while taking questions on the storms was directly asked on the link between climate change and worsening hurricanes.
Trump, of course, completely ignored the questions and denied any connection between climate change and increased hurricane activity — a link scientists, experts, and Trump’s own government have proven time after time again.
Instead, Trump said: “Well, that was the question I asked these folks: Are the storms more frequent? Are they bigger? In all fairness, you probably had your biggest storms. I think you said your biggest one was in the 1800s, but who knows? Who knows? It might have been a very small storm, by comparison, right? There’s no way of really understanding that or knowing that.”
As of Saturday, the death toll from Hurricane Laura stands at 16 lives lost, with an early estimate of property damage reaching $12 billion.
The facts are clear: One of the most devastating impacts of climate change is that hurricanes are more extreme and damaging due to warmer waters, a wetter climate, and rising seas.
- The Gulf of Mexico water temperature is one of the hottest anywhere on earth. In July, the Gulf of Mexico had a record-high temperature nearly 2 degrees above average.
- Warming seas and a wetter atmosphere are supercharging the deluge delivered by storms — increasing rainfall, worsening flood risks, and leading to rapid intensification as we saw with Hurricane Laura.
- Sea level rise leads to more extreme storm surges as strong winds push the higher-than-normal water levels inland, increasing the reach of coastal flooding driven by hurricanes. These storm surges are the deadliest parts of hurricanes.
- Climate change is driving hurricane activity in the Atlantic and leading to one of the most extreme hurricane seasons on record.