Opinion: Humans impact Hurricane Florence


official NASA Earth Observatory website

Hurricane Florence spreads across the Atlantic.

Morgan Tropf, Guest

Hurricane Florence destroyed the East Coast. 37 people were reported dead and thousands more were impacted by the storm. Humans’ contribution to global warming may have worsened this storm drastically.

Bob Berwyn of Inside Climate News reported on Hurricane Florence by interviewing scientists from Stony Brook University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Berwyn wrote, “Florence’s rainfall forecast was more than 50 percent higher than it would have been without global warming, and that the hurricane’s projected size is about 80 kilometers larger. The studies acknowledged that it’s indicative of human influence on extreme weather.”

The effects of global warming may be fueling this deadly storm. Tony Bartelme of The Post and Courier wrote, “Warmer air holds more moisture, and when water falls as rain, it releases energy in the form of heat. This adds even more fuel to storms.”

Hurricanes have become more destructive than ever before, due to human interactions. AP environmental science teacher Melissa Spigutz said, “Most of the solar radiation pulls toward the equator so in our summer, that heat is building up which is the fuel for hurricanes. What you see is stronger hurricanes, there is just more warm water and fuel for them, making them much stronger and dumping a lot more precipitation, causing major flooding like in Hurricane Florence.”

The United States contributes greatly to global warming, therefore, we cannot blame anything or anyone for the destructiveness of this storm but ourselves. “We use a lot, of resources. We have a huge impact, called a carbon footprint, how much carbon we use per person. Its enormous compared to the rest of the world. We use so much energy for transportation, heating our homes, air conditioning. Compared to other countries our carbon footprint is really, really big,” Spigutz said.

Many people believe that global warming doesn’t exist, but in reality it’s occurring faster than ever. “The problem with us is we need these greenhouse gasses but there is an over abundance of them, so really it’s all linked to the amount of carbon dioxide we are emitting,” Spigutz said.

There are many ways that humans can minimize their contribution global warming, which can ultimately lead to less severe natural disasters, including hurricanes. “Humans can help by moving away from using resources that are going to run out. We have the technology but the rich don’t want to stop getting richer and the politicians in office are being backed by those corporations don’t want to break those ties. We need to put people in office that will back us,” Spigutz said

Nature enthusiast Valerie Sague agrees that humans should limit the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the environment. “One of the ways humans can minimize their contributions to global warming is by simply not purchasing and using animals products. I once read that if everyone went vegan tomorrow 15 percent of human made global greenhouse gas emissions would be wiped out,” Sague said.

Sague pointed out that there are many other things affected by global warming. “Other things that are impacted by global warming are longer wildfire seasons, forest death, rising sea levels, coral reef destruction and much more. If we don’t get our act together we will be in a lot of trouble very soon,” Sague said.