The recent string of tropical cyclones that have struck the United States has showcased the nation's vulnerability to nature's most powerful storms. Last week Hurricane Ike nearly played out as a worst-case scenario for Galveston and Houston, Texas, and New Orleans was scared anew from Hurricane Gustav prior to that. In the future, those cities may be at even greater risk of damage from hurricanes, in part because of climate change.
Researchers have been focusing a great deal of attention lately on how warming may affect hurricanes. They've been asking questions such as: will storms become more frequent and/or more intense? And how will sea level rise factor into the equation?
Earlier in the 2008 hurricane season I sat down with two of the leading experts on the hurricanes and climate change issue, Tom Knutson of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), and Kerry Emanuel of MIT.
In this video story from those interviews, they provide a detailed overview of the latest research and offer advice to policymakers regarding development in hurricane-prone regions.
The video was produced by Climate Central, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Princeton, New Jersey, that works to communicate climate science information to the public.