Three massive storms slam U.S. and Japan, each with climate change ties – Axios

by | Sep 17, 2022 | Climate Change

Three blockbuster storms struck different coasts this weekend, causing widespread damage in Puerto Rico, Alaska and Japan.The big picture: Each storm either exhibited unusual characteristics in its formation and intensification or in its interaction with built infrastructure.In Alaska: The most intense storm ever recorded in the Bering Sea during the month of September blasted communities across a 1,000-mile stretch of Alaska’s western coastline with hurricane-force winds and record storm surge flooding. The villages hit include names familiar to the climate community for being vulnerable to erosion and seeking to move to higher ground, such as Kivalina and Shishmaref.Severe flooding was also seen in Nome, the endpoint of the Iditarod sled dog race. The flooding there beat any seen since November 1974.By battering already vulnerable coastal communities, the storm will make them more susceptible to the Bering Sea’s notorious winter storms.In Puerto Rico: Hurricane Fiona struck on Sunday, causing an island-wide blackout that illustrates the country’s challenges with repairing its electrical grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017.Hardening infrastructure against increasingly potent extreme weather events is a major challenge facing the U.S.At one point Sunday evening, nearly the entire island was under a flash flood warning, with “catastrophic” flooding underway.In Japan: Typhoon Nanmadol, the country’s fourth-most intense typhoon to make landfall, struck the island of Kyushu on Sunday morning eastern time.The storm dropped more than two feet of rain in 24 hours on parts of that island, threatening to cause landslides, along with wind and storm surge flooding.Climate change is enabling hurricanes and typhoons to dump more rainfall and stay stronger further north.Prior to its landfall, the storm had rapidly …

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