World renowned climate scientist, Michael E. Mann, recently co-authored a Washington Post article titled, ‘Harvey and Irma should kill any doubt that climate change is real.’ This is a sentiment likely shared amongst those most familiar with the influence of rising sea and air temperatures on extreme weather, or those who are generally just concerned about climate change.
Public opinion and scientific consensus are not always on the same page.
On August 29, 2005, many watched as Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. The satellite imagery from that day shows us how strong Katrina was. A category 5 hurricane at its peak, Katrina was a category 3 hurricane at landfall. This hurricane currently stands as the third deadliest and most costly hurricane in U.S. history (more than 1,000 deaths and $108 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center). Ten years have passed since Katrina made landfall.
The evening I’m writing this, our first real snow this winter has been on the ground for barely a day. My desk (or rather, kitchen table) is in the watershed of the Cache La Poudre River, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The Cache La Poudre is part of the South Platte River which drains to the Platte River, a tributary to the mighty Missouri. The snow is very welcome after a long drought year in the Cache La Poudre, but the drought is still playing out far downstream in the Missouri’s receiving waters, the Mississippi.