Hurricane Gustav – Is this Global Warming?

The simple answer to this question is yes.  Yes, Hurricane Gustav, like Hurricane Katrina is global warming brought live to the doorsteps at the Gulf Coast.

I grew up about 150 miles from the Gulf Coast of Texas and spent my youth watching hurricane season with great interest.  I never saw a category 1 hurricane blow up into a category 5 monster in the way that Katrina did in 2005.

Hurricane Gustav

The simple truth is that a few decades ago, Katrina would have made landfall in Louisiana as a category 2 or 3 storm.  Pretty impressive and damaging, but not the ravaging storm that Katrina became.  The reason that Katrina blew up in to a category 5 hurricane is that the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are warmer than they were a couple of decades ago.

I think that we will see that hurricanes that move slowly over the warm waters of the Gulf, north of Cuba, west of Florida, north of the Yucatan Peninsula routinely build in magnitude to an extent that we did not see just a few decades ago.  I don’t know what this means for the communities that have built up along the Gulf Coast based on the storm strength, the storm surge, the windspeed of weaker storms.  I don’t know if those communities can rebuild their structures to have the strength of survival bunkers to stand category 5 storms.