Is climate change responsible for the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history?
Was it responsible for Superstorm Sandy, which caused billions of dollars of damage to New York City and New Jersey? More broadly, is climate change starting to have an impact today on such extreme weather events?
The answer to those questions is a complicated one, but it starts with the word “yes”.
Scientists have spent years researching climate change’s role in specific, extreme events such as Haiyan and Sandy. But what climate scientists know today, with a high degree of certainty, is that all extreme weather events are now occurring in a world where the oceans are warmer, sea levels are higher and temperatures are rising. So the odds of more intense, devastating storms like Haiyan and Sandy are increasing every year.