Coastwide
RYAN KELLMAN / NPR

USA - Much of the 2020 Hurricane Season Can Be Chalked up to Climate Change — And There's No Quick Fix

The beginning of December marks the end of the 2020 hurricane season, which was by all measures unprecedented.

It broke all of the records: most named storms, most storms to make landfall in Louisiana, strongest storm to hit Louisiana in 150 years, most storms to form in a single month. The list goes on and on.

For those of us living on the coast, it ranged from merely anxiety-inducing for some to totally devastating for others. But what can we learn from it? Is this climate change? Is this the new normal?

The answer, as is so often the case with science, is yes and no. There are a number of reasons for the hyperactive season — some climate-related, some human-related, some random. We got answers from some of the top hurricane scientists.

Warmer Gulf: climate change

Warm waters were the main cause of this unprecedented hurricane season. When temperatures rise in the air, it warms the water. The Gulf was exceptionally warm this year. It made the storms stronger and the season longer, caused more storms to form, and made them intensify more quickly.

Read more.