Florence is currently bringing wrath to the Carolinas.  Florence, a Category 1 storm, with torrential rains, is slow moving and its aftermath will last long after it ends. After the storm ends, many residents will go back to damaged homes.  Due to the powerful flooding, some people will completely lose their homes.  Since it is very sad that some of our neighbors will lose everything that they worked so hard to build, those of us who can should give them financial support.

Despite all of the bad news, there is some good news.  Meteorologists predicted that Florence could be even worse.  At first, Florence was labeled as a Category 4 storm that could even turn into a Category 5.  Unfortunately, hurricanes are not uncommon in North Carolina.  Besides Florence, Hurricane Fran, Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Hazel hit North Carolina.  As a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Hazel, which hit North Carolina in 1954, was the biggest storm ever to hit the state.

Even though hurricanes are an act of nature that man cannot control, mankind has made these storms more severe through the use of fossil fuels.  According to scientists, global warming will not make hurricanes more frequent, but it will make them more extreme.  In the future, there will be more Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes.  Since the mid-1970s, Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes have doubled.

Because of the use of fossil fuels, the sea surface temperature are getting warmer since the 1970s.  The higher ocean temperatures make hurricanes stronger.  According to scientists, warm air holds more water vapor than cold air water temperatures.  The cold water temperatures function as a braking mechanism for hurricanes.  This means that the storm will lose intensity when it reaches landfall.  However, the warmer ocean temperatures decrease the braking mechanism.

As hurricanes become more powerful, more people will be in the path of their danger.  Now more Americans live near coastal areas than ever before.  In fact, 40 percent of Americans live in coastal counties.  When a hurricane hits, many people will lose their homes and businesses.  Some may even lose their lives.  When hard working Americans lose their homes and livelihood, this all takes its toll on our nation’s economy.

Even though we cannot prevent hurricanes, we can take positive steps to fight global warming.  As conscientious citizens, we should all try to save energy.  Cutting down on fossil fuels will improve our quality of life.  Taking more walks is better for our health.  In order to fight air pollution, we should plant more trees.  These small steps can help offset the damaging effects of climate change such as stronger hurricanes and other natural disasters.

According to the most recent report from 1010 Wins, Florence has caused 42 deaths.  Let’s keep the people of North Carolina in our thoughts and prayers.