It’s been a rough start to the Atlantic hurricane season. Five of the seven named storms that have developed are categorized as “major” hurricane ranks; two of those have been downgraded into tropical storms. This year’s season is now the second-busiest so far this century.
That has brought a shift in climate – both long-term and short-term – according to research by Dan Cayan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. The Atlantic basin has been warming faster than any other area on Earth for the past two decades. The development of Atlantic storms is now helping to trigger longer heatwaves and more intense and destructive droughts in many areas of the globe.
Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina last month and killed 17 people, leaving thousands of residents without shelter or basic food and water resources. The state is still reeling from the damage it sustained last year as Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle and generated catastrophic destruction.