How climate change may have contributed to hurricane Harvey

Climate change scientists posted a short primer on Facebook that describes the connection between the devastating storm and world warming. While weather change did not “cause” the storm, it is worsening the affect in some number of ways it claims.

Sea level rise attributable to weather change some is caused by coastal subsidence caused by human disturbance, for example, oil drilling is more than half a foot over the past couple of decades. That means that the storm surge was a half foot higher than it could have been just decades ago, meaning far more flooding and destruction.

Warmer waters: The rise in sea surface temperatures in the region by about a half degree celsius in recent decades led to a about 3 rise in atmospheric moisture content. That big amount of moisture meant the possible for much greater rainfalls and greater flooding.

The rainfall brought on by Harvey has set a new record for the continental United States, dumping more than 50 inches of rain on parts of Houston. That resulted in catastrophic flooding, evidenced by river gauges in the city reporting serious flood levels and a close levee failing under acute pressure.