Irma’s now deadly path through the Caribbean has claimed over 11 lives as its 185mph winds flipped cars and ripped roofs off buildings.
The death toll at the time of this article was at 11 but officials have warned that the number could get a lot higher as many of the areas hit have been so devastated that they have been unable to reach them. “One of the most robust results we see from model simulations is that hurricanes have higher rainfall rates,” says Thomas Knutson, a research meteorologist at the NOAA fluid-dynamics laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, “We interpret that as happening because, in a warming climate, the atmosphere is holding more water in general—and a hurricane brings air into its center and wrings water out of it as precipitation.” Knutson also wrote about an uptick of powerful hurricanes saying there has been an “upward trend in North Atlantic hurricane activity since the 1970s.” He did hesitate when asked if human activity were causing these hurricanes saying, “We haven’t really detected clear changes in the data in the same way we can detect changes in global mean temperature, I just think [30 years] is a rather short record to be inferring effects, because you can also have natural modes of variability over a period of several decades.”
No matter what is causing these powerful hurricanes we all can agree that the damage can be severe to those that are impacted. As Florida braces for the storm which should hit sometime late Sunday, residents of the Caribbean begin to clean up the debris and attempt to rebuild their lives.