How Big Is Hurricane Irma? This One Tweet Explains Why We Should Be Extra Worried
Two enormous hurricanes are on track to hit the United States within barely two weeks – which should soundly slam the door on any claims that climate change is a hoax and/or God being angry at LGBTQ people. (Yup, those are two very real accusations.) But for those who still aren't convinced, this tweet about Hurricane Irma and climate change perfectly breaks down why we should all be very, very worried about our planet.
Mikel Jollett, the frontman for the band Airborne Toxic Event, pointed out on Twitter that even though both Irma and last month's Hurricane Harvey were supposed to be record breaking, or even one in 500 year storms, we've now had two in the span of a month.
On Sept. 6, Hurricane Irma crashed down on the Caribbean, with a sustained wind speed of 185 miles per hour. Property was destroyed, infrastructure torn apart and power went out. The storm is now making its way towards Florida, where even more catastrophic destruction could occur. Forecasters are calling Hurricane Irma the most powerful storm to hit the Atlantic in more than a decade.
This, in and off itself, is incredibly significant. But couple that with the fact that on Aug. 25 – just a little over a week ago – Hurricane Harvey slammed down on Texas, causing a historic rainfall of up to 51.88 inches, and we've got a problem.
In just one tweet, Jollett managed to explain what every single climate change denier needs to hear. The record-breaking storms are not random, and they have everything to to with the state of our planet.
Jollett went onto break down exactly why the catastrophic storms and climate change are linked. Basically, climate change causes the temperature in the water to rise and hurricanes are fueled by the warmth of the ocean. The effects of hurricanes are also greatly enhanced by climate change, because of rising sea levels, which makes the storm surge all the more catastrophic.
Scientists expect that the combination of warmer air and water will cause wetter, more catastrophic storms in the future. Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer told ABC News that storms like Irma and Harvey should serve as a "warning" for what's to come. "This is the kind of thing we are going to get more of," he said.
Seems pretty simple, right? But for many in the current political administration, climate change is either a nonissue or a made up fairytale. On Sept. 2, Donald Trump announced his pick for NASA's next chief, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a politician who has expressed skepticism about climate change.
Couple that with the fact that Trump has repeatedly mocked the idea that climate change exists, blamed the whole concept on a Chinese hoax and then nominated Scott Pruitt (who once sued the Environmental Protection Agency) to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and things are not looking good for our planet.
It just seems insane, because it's all simple science – which makes sense even to someone like me, who barely got through high school science class.