Climate change has been brought up in both of this year’s presidential debates more than ever before. With it being such an important topic I went out to talk to you here in Lafayette, After talking to about a dozen people well, I hadn’t gotten a single interview but I got the same answer over and over again. “I don’t know enough about climate change to talk about it”. As a Meteorologist, I strive to give you the best forecast but also keep you informed on the changing climate around us, and in a state where impacts will be significant, it is important that you know how our changing world will change your weather.
Let’s start off with the big picture. The Earth is warming at an alarming rate thanks to greenhouse gas emissions. 2020 is expected to surpass 2016 as the warmest year on record, a record that has been set too many times in recent years. Here in the Bayou state we already see the impacts of this warming occurring around us. Warmer temperatures mean warmer oceans and that influences our tropical season. Storms that do form are dropping more rain and bringing higher storm surge amounts than years past. This year the Atlantic basin is setting records as storms form at a break-neck pace. Here in Louisiana, we saw a rapidly intensifying Laura devastate SouthWest Louisiana and a few weeks later Hurricane Delta moved through the same area. Overall, storms are getting stronger and the very important coastal region that protects our state from these storms hasn’t been able to recover.
Outside of tropical weather, our coastal regions are experiencing more flooding thanks to rising sea levels. Over 45 thousand people in the state now live in an area where they are at risk along the coast due to flooding which occurs more often.
To wrap things up the goal of this isn’t to change your mind about how to deal with climate change rather my goal is to educate and inform you about the world around us. If you would like to know more about our changing climate please reach out to me I’m just a message or email away.
- Meteorologist Cory Smith