A study released on September 7th by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the scientific partnership World Weather Attribution says that human-caused climate warming has increased the chances of big storms on the central U.S. Gulf Coast like those that unleashed August torrential rains in south Louisiana by at least 40%.  The study also noted that the amount of rain in typical storm events in that area had increased since 1900.

This study was exclusively focused on Gulf Coast weather, but global warming and increasing urbanization in the Chicagoland area are likely to have caused a similar increase in severe weather here because of similar forces at work.  Warmer air increases evaporation, the amount of water air can hold, and average wind speeds.   We have seen a significant increase in the number of especially damaging storms over the past decade.

We have much more control over the world we live in than we did at the turn of the last century, but there are still some areas (weather) where we have less control than we would like.  That makes doing what we can about the areas we can control (reducing our carbon consumption and “urban heat islands”) all the more important…

NOAA Study: Global Warming Increased Gulf Superstorms by 40%