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What is the relationship between extreme weather and climate change?

Occasionally I get asked if and how climate change is affecting extreme weather in the Southeast. This has come up more frequently in the past few years with all of the hurricanes which have impacted agriculture in the past few years, including Matthew, Florence, Irma, and Michael. Here is a lengthy but useful description of the sometimes tangled relationship between the two, in a paper written for testimony before Congress by Dr. Adam Sobel of Columbia University.

He gives an overview of all severe weather but provides an extended look at tropical storms and hurricanes.  He has an excellent look at the current state of the science and reminds us that there are areas we still don’t know much about. If you are interested in this topic or get questions about it, I recommend it! You can view it at

Citrus groves in Florida remained under flood waters Sept. 13 after Hurricane Irma. “It’s still too early to know the full extent of the damage to Florida citrus,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said in a Sept. 13 news release.
Photo by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services