Column: California wildfires to Florida hurricanes, how the rich game climate change
Florida’s ‘Carolina Complex’ could become a hurricane
In August 2003, Hurricane Charley passed over South Florida and killed more than 1,000 people. Over the following years, Charley’s impact was felt in a region stretching from the Carolinas to Tampa Bay.
Today, the hurricane’s record-breaker left only a skeleton of destruction in its wake. But the storm that ravaged the region in 2003 also left behind a legacy of destruction and death.
The area now known as the “Carolina Complex” will soon feel the wrath of a Category 5 hurricane that’s expected to hit Florida’s panhandle on Friday and then pass eastward to the Caribbean. The storm, which is expected to be a powerful Category 5, is predicted to produce winds of 185 miles per hour, which would make it the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
In the aftermath of Charley’s passing, several towns along the coast that had been rebuilt by local authorities were left in ruins. And several towns along with the coast that had been rebuilt by local authorities were left in ruins.
This is why the threat of future hurricanes will leave South Florida in a state of permanent concern to locals and officials in the region. The risk of storms passing over the central, southern and eastern portions of the region will continue to grow.
That concern will grow for another reason as well: the growing threat of climate change.
As the threat of hurricanes grows and as climate change impacts are felt throughout South Florida, an understanding of the extent and severity of the changing climate will become vital. This will become particularly important as the region nears the point of maximum impact by Hurricane Irma, which will pass through the region on Monday.
Hurricane Irma has been the subject of intense debate, as the storm has already killed an estimated 1,800 people in central and south Florida and is now likely to hit the region’s population centers before making landfall in South Florida.
And the danger of Hurricane Irma will only increase as the climate changes in