Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hurricanes and the peril of global warming

According to CNN, leading experts have concluded that "[t]he record Atlantic hurricane season last year can be attributed to global warming". That included Hurricane Katrina (see left). Others disagree, some "[attributing] the warming to natural cycles".

Regardless: "Whatever the cause, computer projections indicate the warming to date -- about one degree Fahrenheit (half a degree Celsius) in tropical water -- is 'the tip of the iceberg' and the water will warm three to four times as much in the next century," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

In my view, given the inconclusive evidence and the disagreement among experts, shouldn't we err on the side of caution and take global warming seriously? It may not be the only cause of more and stronger hurricanes, but it's likely a cause. At the very least, how can it be ruled out as a cause? Besides, there are other consequences to global warming besides more and stronger hurricanes. Clearly, we ignore this problem at our own peril.

For more on global warming, see here and here. For more on the relationship between global warming and hurricanes, see here.

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