Hurricane Ida Turned Into a Monster Because of a Giant Warm Patch in the Gulf of Mexico

After a Week of Cascading Disasters, Grief Becomes a Crucible for Climate Action

Everywhere you looked, there was wreckage. In New Orleans, a million or so people sweltered in the steamy Gulf heat without electricity after Hurricane Ida toppled powerlines throughout Louisiana. In New York and New Jersey, the fatal tail of the storm caused dozens of deaths after the rains came too fast to prepare for. Out West, wildfires tore through parched forests as the latest big one, with the Tolkien-perfect name Caldor, forced thousands of people to flee their homes. Maybe, together, these manmade catastrophes could be the decisive wake-up call for those who have tried to deny the science of climate change or else willfully looked away…READ ON

When it comes to preparing for disaster there are 4 distinct types of people. Which one are you?

Imagine it’s summer in Australia and a bushfire is bearing down on your suburb. Are you the pragmatic type – you’ve swapped phone numbers with the neighbours, photocopied your ID and have your emergency plan at the ready? Or are you the sentimental type – you’ve backed up the family photos but forgotten to insure the house, or don’t have an evacuation plan for the cat?

Our research out today shows when it comes to getting ready for disasters, there are four types of people. And this matters, because good disaster preparedness doesn’t just help people during and immediately after a disaster – it can also mean a quicker recovery.

The research, commissioned by Australian Red Cross, examined the experiences of 165 people who lived through a disaster such as fire and flood between 2008 and 2019. We identified a number of steps people wished they’d taken to prepare for disaster, such as protecting sentimental items, planning where the family should meet if separated and better managing stress…READ ON

Hurricane Ida Turned Into a Monster Because of a Giant Warm Patch in the Gulf of Mexico

As Hurricane Ida headed into the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists was closely watching a giant, slowly swirling pool of warm water directly ahead in its path.

A computer animation reflects the temperature change as eddies spin off from the Loop Current and Gulf Stream along the U.S. Coast.

That warm pool, an eddy, was a warning sign. It was around 125 miles (200 kilometers) across. And it was about to give Ida the power boost that in the span of less than 24 hours would turn it from a weak hurricane into the dangerous Category 4 storm that slammed into Louisiana just outside New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2021.

Nick Shay, an oceanographer at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, was one of those scientists. He explains how these eddies, part of what’s known as the Loop Current, help storms rapidly intensify into monster hurricanes…READ ON

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