Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean acknowledged that “very warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico” are at least partly to blame for the likely catastrophe that Hurricane Harvey will cause in Texas and Louisiana. But not one person in the nine minutes of discussion that followed said a word about global warming or climate change.
Dean’s alarming update on Hurricane Harvey opened the Outnumbered show. She made no secret of her own apprehension.
DEAN: I’m nervous because this is something we’ve maybe never seen before in terms of hurricane landfalls … Epic flooding, a year’s worth of rain in just a matter of hours across the Texas coast.
[Stalling] is the really dangerous part of this storm system, it’s going to stall. The reason why we think it’s going to strengthen, very warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and nothing to tear this storm apart in the upper levels of the atmosphere …
Dean also said over three feet of rain may fall in some areas. “This actually could change the landscape of the Texas coastline,” she added.
Dean was followed on Outnumbered by a news report about the Trump administration’s preparations for Harvey and then a discussion mostly saluting Trump's supposed readiness among the five cohosts. The discussion ignored administration vacancies that may well hamper the federal response. The entire segment also ignored the role of climate change on the hurricane.
The San Antonio Express-News, whose readership presumably relies on accurate Harvey information, reported what Fox would rather not. In an article called, “Harvey’s intensity and rainfall potential tied to global warming,” the Express-News noted that the Gulf of Mexico’s water is up to 2 degrees above normal and that warmer water means more intense hurricanes.
Since the 1980s when high-quality satellite observations became available, scientists have seen an increase in the “intensity, frequency, and duration” of Atlantic hurricanes, along with the number of Category 4 and 5 storms, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment.
The reason warmer oceans fuel stronger hurricanes is pretty easy to understand, University of Texas climate scientist Kerry Cook said.
“Hurricanes are fueled by the condensation of water in the atmosphere that evaporated from the surface,” she said. “If the surface temperature is warmer, it increases the evaporation rate.”
But, hey, Dear Leader Donald Trump thinks global warming is a Chinese conspiracy to harm American manufacturing.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Watch the five cohosts ignore what may be the most important science in our lifetime below, from the August 25, 2017 Outnumbered.
With a profit savings like that, is it any wonder that the climate deniers are so well funded and that corporate fascists in government are so hell bent on doing their bidding.
I’m fully convinced that global warming exists, not least because over 99% of the scientists directly involved in the physical sciences and not financed by the fossil-fuels industries say so.
While I’m at it, I also believe that our planet is round and that evolution offers a better explanation for our own existence than a selective set of texts written by desert nomads something like 1,500 years ago.
That said, I cannot but recall the old European belief that there existed a “Northwestern passage” through Artic ice. Many expeditions towards the North American continent were backed by merchants wanting to find a shorter route to Asia. I also remember that what appear to be the remains of Viking camps were found in currently ice-bound places in Northern Canada and Alaska. My curiosity about the possible cyclical origins of global warming does not, however, prevent me from accepting the scientific evidence that human-activity is accelerating the process.
Hurricane Harvey may give us an idea of just how massive the flooding will be.