Published at Thursday, 31 January 2019. Global Warming. By c0ns_lt3th.
The deluges in the Puerto Rican mountains may have set new global records for most rain in an hour; when they finally cleared, Puerto Ricans without air-conditioning or even fans faced a record-breaking heat wave. The island has spent the last year trying to deal with an outbreak of Zika virus, a classic climate-change disease. Imagine what the mosquitoes are like today. These are precisely the kind of effects climate scientists have predicted. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold; hence, bigger rains. Hurricanes draw their strength from the ocean's heat; hence, higher winds. As we learned during Sandy, the higher ocean can surge farther inland.
Forget the bizarre tweets and insults from the White House, or the images of the President touring San Juan: What's happened in Puerto Rico will change life there for many years after all the news has faded from your feed. Early estimates put the economic damage from Hurricane Maria at $30 billion, a third of the island's annual economic output. Eighty percent of its crops have been destroyed — "there is no agriculture on Puerto Rico, and there won't be for at least another year," said one official. It may be a year before power returns, and even that won't solve the deeper problems. As one official said, the devastation had set back the island "20 or 30 years" — that is, an entire human generation's worth of progress lost in a few hours.
"It's the sheer breadth and magnitude of this that's so shocking," Hizzoner insisted. "I mean its just total. Our folks have said, very clearly, there's endless need." But there is one curious missing piece: as New York scrambles to help, it continues to invest billions of dollars in the fossil fuel companies that caused — and may have covered up — the global warming that makes such events more devastating. Make no mistake, Maria is precisely what climate change looks like. September 2017 saw more hurricane activity in the Atlantic than in any month since record-keeping began in 1851. Of all the Category 5 storms to hit U.S. territory, a quarter have come this year.
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