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Stronger hurricanes and higher sea levels

According to US government-led study

Irma is an example how intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.
Irma is an example how intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricanes this year were stronger longer and tracked over locations never covered before by such intense major storms. 

Jacksonville experienced record flooding and severe beach erosion and had the hottest October and February monthly averages on record.

Trends like these are increasing according to a report released on November 3rd by 13 federal agencies and approved for release by the White House.

The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) was publicly released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). 

The report stated that global average temperatures have increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 115 years, making this period the warmest in the history of modern civilization. Research attributes human activities as the dominant cause of global heating.

The report also highlights human-caused climate change will make hurricanes more extreme-something we saw with this season's destructive storms.

Typically a year passes with 2 to 3 hurricanes packing winds over 115 mph. 2017 had six major hurricanes with Hurricane Irma lasting a record 37 hours as a Category 5 with 185 mph winds. 

"Human activities have contributed substantially to observed ocean–atmosphere variability in the Atlantic Ocean, and these changes have contributed to the observed upward trend in North Atlantic hurricane activity since the 1970s," the report.

Global sea level was also the highest on record — and sea surface temperatures globally were also record-high. Warmer water naturally expands the thickness of water and levels have expanded 3.25 inches higher than they were in 1993.

The year marked six consecutive years of global sea levels being higher than the year before. 

Along the coast of Fernandina Beach the average ocean level has expanded 2.4 mm per year.


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