As major hurricanes slam the nation year after year, claiming dozens of lives and costing billions in damages, the impact of climate change on these natural events comes up often in political speeches and casual conversations.

Is climate change fueling massive hurricanes in the Atlantic Heres what science says.

Could hurricanes get even worse as temperatures rise?, wonders Florida resident Kimberly Lenehan Payano, who survived a harrowing last-minute rescue from Hurricane Ian’s massive storm surge. Scientists have worked for years to answer such questions. “It’s a topic with a lot of nuance,” said Tom Knutson, a senior climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s geophysical fluid dynamics laboratory. The simple answer for the moment: Evidence shows many Atlantic hurricanes are carrying more rainfall than in the past.

It also shows a greater percentage of hurricanes are growing stronger faster. More people living on the coast and sea levels that already have risen 7 to 8 inches multiply the risks and costs, researchers said. But it’s tougher to determine if human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and global warming have an effect on hurricane intensity and frequency. Hurricane and climate scientists agree on some points but see mixed signals on others. With time and more data, Knutson and others said a more clear picture will emerge. While people can now watch tropical waves even before they emerge into the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa, it might be hard to remember scientists barely have 40 years worth of reliable satellite records and data.

Source: This news is originally published by usatoday

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