Climate change can make hurricanes wetter and therefore increase the risk of flooding, it has been reported.
This news comes as Louisiana is hit by a hurricane that, for the first time in history, has struck “while the Mississippi River has been at flood stage”.
Residents of the American state are braced for floods and rain after hurricane Barry made landfall, bringing with it 70 mph winds and will test flood prevention measures implemented after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 14 years ago.
More than 100,000 people are without power in the area, due to heavy winds and rain.
Mark Risser, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told BuzzFeed News that there’s been a one degree Celsius warming in the Gulf of Mexico.
He said: “That’s what is contributing to the increased intensity of the storms”.
When the air is warmer, it can hold more water vapor. So that when a storm moves through an area that has warmer, wetter air, there’s more of a source for the precipitation.
Hurricane Barry has since been downgraded, however, the coastguard said it remained concerned.
“It remains a very dangerous storm, particularly with regards to the amount of water that could be dropped in those areas with full river basins,” Rear Admiral Paul Thomas said.
In a Friday news conference, Louisana Gov. John Bel Edwards added in response to a question about climate change;
It is noteworthy that we're in our 260th day of a flood fight on the Mississippi River, the longest in history, and that this is the first time in history a hurricane will strike Louisiana while the Mississippi River has been at flood stage.
If we anticipate that this could happen with more frequency going forward, then it has to inform a lot of things we do in the state of Louisiana to prepare for disasters in the future.
In 2017 the second most expensive hurricane in US history made landfall: Hurricane Harvey. It brought more than 40 inches of rain, and cost America $125 billion (£99.43 billion). A Study in the journal Geophysical Research published that same year found the record rain levels were made 38 per cent more likely due to make-made warming.