CNN shows the right way to report on hurricanes and climate change

Climate scientist Michael Mann tells CNN climate change is “absolutely” making hurricanes worse 

From the December 2 edition of CNN Newsroom

Video file

CLARISSA WARD: Michael Mann is one of the country’s top climate scientists. He has testified before Congress about the threat posed by climate change.


WARD: Is there a direct connection between the intensity of the hurricanes that we're seeing and climate change?

MICHAEL MANN: There is a direct connection. And too often we hear the problem framed as “Did climate change cause this storm? Did it cause this hurricane?” That's not the right way to think about it. The question is, “Is climate change amplifying the impacts of these hurricanes?” And it absolutely is.


WARD: Mann explains that as Arctic ice, the world's refrigerator, has melted, that has accelerated the overall warming of the planet. The world's oceans have warmed by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit, and as the ocean surface heats, it allows more moisture into the atmosphere, making hurricanes like Harvey and Irma stronger, with more potential to flood. The vast majority of climate scientists agree that without significant cuts to carbon emissions, temperatures will continue to climb and the problem will only get worse.

MANN: The analogy I like to use, we're stepping out onto a minefield, and we don't know exactly where those mines are. But we know that as we set them off, we're going to see catastrophic impacts.


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