The role of climate change in hurricanes Irma, Harvey

Jordan D'Silva

By: Jordan D’Silva and Jackson Sharp

Climate change has been linked to many of the natural disasters in recent years, but none so heavily as the hurricanes of the past few weeks. OU students were asked about the link between climate change and the hurricanes and the steps that should be taken going forward.

These past few weeks have changed more than a few minds on the massive  impacts of climate change. However, nursing junior Rachel Weaver says she saw it coming. “Well, I’m not surprised at all about the strength of the hurricanes that have been happening recently. Because I understand that the temperature of the ocean has been rising and so that increases the intensity of the hurricanes.”

Scientists have found greenhouse emission increases to be correlated with an increase in the severity of hurricanes in the last hundred years. Civil engineering sophomore Braulio Vargas noted the U.S.’s contribution to this issue. “We have massive greenhouse emissions in the U.S. because of the automobile use, so I guess reducing that would be a great step; which means increasing the amount of public transportation options.”

Innovative technology could also be the key to reducing the human footprint according to voice and psychology sophomore Kristen Williams. “As technology and stuff like that are advancing, things are getting better. But I still think that there’s a lot to work on.”

When asked about ways people in the community could help fight climate change nursing junior Rachel Huskey said  “I think it would help if we had renewable energy, and recycling, using less gas in your car. That would all help.”

When asked about combating climate change on around the world computer science freshman Mahmoud Hamad said “As sustainability is taking more ground on a global scale, I think that developed and more rich countries should help smaller economies and developing with technology and resources.”