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Mega Hurricanes and Climate Change

Early in September, the state of Florida, U.S. was gravely affected by Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic. The hurricane brought heavy rainfall, floods, and gusty winds that displaced many residents from their homes and destroyed several infrastructures. Hurricane Irma is a category-4 hurricane which is the second-highest hurricane classification category on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. Hurricane Harvey, the hurricane that affected the state of Texas in late August, also falls under category 4. Climate scientists consider category 4 hurricanes as mega hurricanes that result from several factors such as atmospheric and oceanic conditions, but Hurricane Harvey and Irma’s main culprit is climate change.

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with maximum sustaining winds of 119 kilometers per hour or greater. They commonly occur in the western Atlantic, and they are usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning. Hurricanes develop through a cycle that can go on for two to three weeks. They start out as clusters of thunderstorms over tropical waters. These clusters are called tropical disturbance. When a tropical disturbance does not get dissolved and gets higher wind speeds, it becomes a tropical depression. When the wind speeds continue to get stronger, a tropical depression develops into a tropical storm. A hurricane finally develops when winds still continue to intensify.

Climate scientists say that the increase in the planet’s temperature is causing the hurricanes. They explain that because the surface temperature of seas and oceans are abnormally high, it has become easier and faster for meteorological hazards like storms and hurricanes to form.

These meteorological hazards have become stronger over the years because the high surface temperature of water causes the creation of more water vapor that gets carried by hurricanes as they make landfall. This water vapor turns into heavy rain that is pushed around by the gushes of wind brought by the hurricane. The heavy rain causes water levels to rise and sometimes leads to flooding. Also, the gushes of wind blow too hard that infrastructures are not able to withstand them, resulting in a lot of properties getting damaged and a lot of lives lost because of hurricanes.

Climate scientists add that people may experience worse hurricanes in the future if the problem on climate change does not get resolved soon. The abnormal temperature of the planet causes a lot of imbalances in natural cycles and processes in the environment which in the end creates natural hazards. These natural hazards will continue to haunt mankind and everything else in the planet if the Earth’s rising temperature does not get addressed as soon as possible.

질문&어휘 문법TIPs 해석
questions

1. How are hurricanes formed?

 

2. What is a category 4 hurricane?

 

3. How does climate change affect the creation of category 4 hurricanes?

 

4. Explain the meaning of the underlined part.

vocabularies

gusty 세찬 

resident 거주민 

atmospheric 대기의 

culprit 범인 

cluster 무리 

abnormally 비정상적으로 

resolve 해결하다 

imbalance 불균형 

haunt 괴롭히다

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