A study was published in the journal ‘Natural Communications’ claiming the rainfall from hurricanes during the record-breaking 2020 season was 11% higher because of the human-caused climate crisis.
They also discovered that global warming supercharged hourly rainfall rates in tropical storms and hurricanes upwards of 5-10%. However, when they analyzed only hurricanes the increase was 8 to 11%.
"What that means is not only is climate change impacting our hurricane season, but it's also impacting the most extreme storms. So the key takeaway is that climate change is here, and that it's already affecting our hurricane seasons," says Kevin Reed, a climate and hurricane scientist at Stony Brook University and lead author of the study.
Hurricanes or otherwise known as tropical cyclones or typhoons outside North America are massive heat engines of wind and rain, feeding on warm ocean water and moist air. Scientists have become more and more confident over the years that the climate crisis is causing them to become more powerful.
Behind storm surge, flooding from rainfall is the second largest killer in landfalling hurricanes and tropical storms. The study suggested that the threat has been increasing over the last couple of decades, and will increase more in the future due to warmer air holding more water vapor, which leads to higher rainfall rates.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record.
Scientists say if we continue to pump greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the Earth will continue to warm and hurricane impacts will become worse.