• Tech Tech

Climate scientist responds to commenter questioning changes to hurricanes: 'Putting us all at risk'

"The ones we get are going to be bigger and stronger."

"The ones we get are going to be bigger and stronger."

Photo Credit: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

As Hurricane Beryl continues to wreak havoc, a recent jab by a dismissive social media commenter created a perfect storm for a powerful teaching moment in TCD's video series with renowned climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe. 

"So you're saying we're just going to get three strong hurricanes per season instead of the usual 20 "average" hurricanes," the commenter wrote. "Tough sell sister." 

Dr. Hayhoe responded in a video. 

"That is not what climate scientists are saying," she replies. "We're saying that we are going to get the same number of hurricanes that we've always had — they're not going down — but the ones we get are going to be bigger and stronger and slower and dump a lot more rain on us." 

Dr. Hayhoe continues: "Climate change is, as the U.S. military calls it, a threat multiplier. It's taking the natural weather disasters that we've always had — the droughts, the floods, the heatwaves, and more — and it's supersizing them, making them bigger, like a baseball player on steroids. And you know what? That is putting us all at risk."

As our planet continues to dangerously overheat, the "threat multiplier" effect means the dry gets drier and the wet gets wetter. The evidence of Dr. Hayhoe's response, and the truth that this phenomenon puts all at risk, has been seen in a growing number of examples

Older adults are having difficulty finding new homes after natural disasters destroy theirs, survivors of extreme weather disasters struggle financially, the world's food supply is put at risk, and people are dying because of the weather. The list goes on, but you get the idea. 

These events also devastate ecosystems, leading to coral bleaching, shore erosion, and habitat loss. So when Dr. Hayhoe says this puts us all at risk, she truly means all of us. 

Slowing the rate at which our planet is overheating is the best way to keep these extreme weather events from becoming even more extreme and to protect ourselves, our communities, and our environment. 

Dr. Hayhoe says some of the most impactful actions individuals can take are to start a conversation about why climate change matters and what people can do, join a climate action group, or change where you keep your money.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Cool Divider