Fossil Fuels Are The Cause Of Tropical Cyclones
BY JAYLENE MATIAS
There are typically eighty tropical cyclone storms that occur annually and about two-thirds are so severe thus being responsible for deaths and geographic devastations. A Tropical Cyclone, also known as a hurricane, is a rapidly rotating storm that originates over tropical and subtropical Waters because that is where they draw their energy from in order to develop. A tropical Cyclone is one of the biggest threats known to mankind, causing storm surges, flooding, fast winds and tornadoes. When these hazards interact with each other, it increases the likelihood for the loss of life or material damage.
A tropical cyclone’s location actually determines its name. A tropical cyclone that happens in the Northern Atlantic or Eastern Pacific (so around Central and North America on either side) is known as a hurricane. Tropical cyclones that develop in the Western Pacific (from Asia down to Papua-New Guinea) are called typhoons. When it occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, it is called a cyclone. All of them are the same, though.
Globally, tropical cyclones are among the most dangerous and violent weather events. Every year, they cause thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage to coastal and island communities. As usual, lower-income communities are the most vulnerable because they have less stable energy and water supplies. Most of the low-income communities impacted by a tropical cyclone have no access to technology so they cannot predict and prepare for a tropical cyclone. Areas affected by a cyclone become inhabitable causing millions to flee their homes. Lower income communities are less responsible for climate change, but they are more affected.
A tropical cyclone is a natural occurrence but they have gotten worse through the years and the fossil fuel industry is responsible for that. Why is that? Burning fossil fuels has caused an increase in concentration of greenhouse gases, mostly CO2 AND CH4. The increase in concentration of greenhouse gases is the reason for the warming effect on our climate. Tropical cyclones are Caused by warm ocean waters. The warmer the surface of the ocean, the stronger the storm. The warmer the air the more rain because warmer air absorbs more moisture. Since the Industrial Revolution, the planet’s average temperature has increased by about 1.2°C. This increase in temperature is the direct cause of hotter oceans, higher sea levels, and hotter air. It’s the direct cause of more dangerous tropical cyclones.
If we continue to burn fossil fuels, the climate will just get hotter, causing more natural disasters to occur. The coal, oil and gas industries have massively profited from the burning of fossil fuels and reports prove that they knew the damage they were causing since the 1970s. No efforts have been made because they only think of the money they will make. It makes no difference if the climate is burning or not.
While it is impossible to stop tropical cyclones from occurring, it is possible to try and stop the burning of fossil fuels by living a more sustainable life and conserving energy. If the use of fossil fuels decrease the climate will see a more equitable and clean future