NASA has taken some time to explain if climate change is influencing the power of hurricanes as well as coastal flooding.
The space agency has taken to its NASA Climate Twitter account to share a video that poses the question "Is hurricanes getting stronger?" to NASA climate scientist Mara Cordero-Fuentes, who explains that hurricanes won't reach Category 6 due to physics, but there will be an increased number of category 3/4/5 hurricanes across the Atlantic every season.
Cordero-Fuente explains that climate change, and in particular global warming, is influencing the rate of hurricanes because the warmer the water, the stronger the hurricane system will be, giving it more energy. In short, yes, hurricanes are getting stronger as officials are noticing more and more tropical cyclones reaching higher categories.
"Due to global warming, global climate models predict hurricanes will likely cause more intense rainfall and have an increased coastal flood risk due to higher storm surge caused by rising seas. Additionally, the global frequency of storms may decrease or remain unchanged, but hurricanes that form are more likely to become intense," writes NASA.
"Tom Knutson, senior scientist at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, is a leading scientist on hurricanes and climate change. He notes that "even if hurricanes themselves don't change [due to climate change], the flooding from storm surge events will be made worse by sea level rise." In addition, he says models show increases in a hurricane's rainfall rate by 2100. This means that hurricanes are likely to cause more intense rain when they come ashore," writes NASA on its climate website.