The planet is getting warmer because of human carbon emissions. With that increase in heat, the risk of extreme weather events has already doubled. Those extreme weather events include stronger hurricanes, like we witnessed when Hurricane Harvey struck Texas on Friday.
As the world warms, evaporation of our oceans speeds up, meaning that there's more and more water vapour for a storm to sweep up and dump on cities like Houston with devastating effect. Harvey was also made worse by the unusually warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“This is the main fuel for the storm,” Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research explained. “Although these storms occur naturally, the storm is apt to be more intense, maybe a bit bigger, longer-lasting, and with much heavier rainfalls [because of that ocean heat].”
President Donald Trump disagrees with the vast majority of scientists, stating in 2012 that that global warming is a myth invented by the Chinese to make American industry less competitive. As president, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.
And on Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter to express his apparent shock that Harvey had been so devastating...
Thankfully, comedian Jess Dweck was on hand to explain why to the president.
Obviously Twitter loved the burn...
If only that kind of change could be predicted or even prevented somehow!?— Lindsay Fowler (@linzrob78) August 28, 2017
Surely if that was the case, every serious scientist would warn..... Oh... Darn.— 'Famous Seamus' (@XLoaferY) August 28, 2017
But expert insights are highly overrated, aren't they?— Vance Morgan (@thorsenchair) August 28, 2017
Fake news! No wait.. Chinese Hoax!! No actually, this is god punishing us for not buying Ivanka's goods...?— MeMeCherry🍒 (@MeMeCherry) August 28, 2017
While others accused Dweck of making science a political agenda. Which seems like a pretty good idea.
Climate change isn't political, at least not in countries with a decent level of education. It's a scientific fact.— Henning Strack (@Nabend1401) August 28, 2017
At least eight people are reported to have died as a result of Harvey, with a record 30 inches of rain falling on Houston.