Publication Date August 24, 2015

Climate change and Hurricane Katrina: what have we learned?

United States
New Orleans the week after Katrina hit landfall. Photo: Liz Roll, FEMA

Three weeks and three days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 10 years ago, a paper of mine appeared in the scientific journal Nature showing that North Atlantic hurricane power was strongly correlated with the temperature of the tropical Atlantic during hurricane season, and that both had been increasing rapidly over the previous 30 years or so. It attributed these increases to a combination of natural climate oscillations and to global warming...We have learned much in the [ten] intervening years [since Katrina].