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Forecast: Storm Warnings

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Their names are seared into the minds of those who lived through them. Andrew. Charley. Hugo. Ivan. Rita. And, of course, Katrina.

And now the actions of humans since the dawn of the industrial age will only propel future hurricanes’ power. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere released by burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels has begun to warm the planet. The surface temperature of the eastern Atlantic Ocean has increased by nearly one degree Celsius in the last century, and the temperature will likely increase in the future. Scientists have determined that warmer water can boost hurricanes’ ferocity, and may even increase their frequency.

In short, the global warming forecast is for severe storm warnings ahead.