Frequently Asked Questions about Hurricane Matthew and Climate Change
Q: Did climate change cause this hurricane?
A: In general, hurricanes just happen. They need warm water, moist air and converging winds to form. But, a number of studies have found that warmer ocean temperatures are fueling stronger North Atlantic hurricanes. The number of North Atlantic Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes has roughly doubled since the 1970s. In the case of Matthew, ocean waters were at record high temperatures. The oceans have absorbed most of the extra energy from global warming and the North Atlantic has warmed more than other oceans—0.7°C since the 1980s.