The Hurricane Epidemic

By: Sarah Brill  |  October 16, 2018

By Sarah Brill

Another hurricane? And another one after that? It seems like today all we hear on the news is how Mother Nature is throwing fastballs on the shore-lined states. Why is this happening all of a sudden? Why are we experiencing a massive outbreak of hurricanes?

In 2016 there were 7, in 2017 there were 6, and this year there have already been 2 in the United States, and many more in Japan where typhoon season is at its peak. Going back to 1960, however, there were only 2 hurricanes, both of which were category 3. So, how can the amount of hurricanes, and the magnitude at which they occur, change so rapidly in the course of only 58 years?

We first need to establish how a hurricane is formed. The ocean, which needs to be at a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, provides energy for the hurricane. The water in the ocean evaporates, creating humid air clouds. From there, winds form in an upward direction and branch off on either side of the clouds, to form a tree-like wind cycle around the hurricane. Then, winds from beyond the hurricane push it towards shore. If the water in the ocean is hotter, the storm will be more intense.

Despite the denial of many, global warming is a problem with scientific proof. Our atmosphere is slowly heating up due to the constant use of boats, cars, trains, factories, and other coal and carbon monoxide fueled projects. In turn, this causes the water temperature to heat up more than normal, which causes a category 4 or 5 hurricane to occur. This, coupled with the constant evaporation of water from our shores (due to rising temperatures), causes massive storm surges which can wipe out entire neighborhoods.

The main cause of these problems is the carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, in short, harms the ocean. It wipes out coral reefs, causes the climate and weather to change drastically, and causes an increase in oceanic temperature.

In the 1960s, when hurricanes only came about “once in a blue moon,” cars were not as accessible as they are today. The emission of carbon dioxide from our cars causes this drastic change in water temperature, which fuels the hurricanes, which subsequently causes more to occur. If you live close enough to work, then walk, and leave your car at home. In doing so you are taking one step closer to saving the environment.

We have established that Mother Nature is not a fan, so to speak, of the human population. Then again, by our actions, we are not proving ourselves to be a fan of Mother Nature. We litter in our parks without thinking twice. We toss our trash into the Hudson because “it’s already dirty, therefore my trash won’t make it worse.” Mother Nature is not too happy. With the new year beginning, do a mitzvah for Mother Nature, and help make our planet a more cohesive and symbiotic place to live.