Climate change is making hurricanes more frequent and severe, scientists believe

Scientists are growing increasingly confident that climate change is making extreme weather events more frequent and severe.

When it comes to powerful storms, such as Hurricane Ian, impacts happen in a number of different ways.

Perhaps most significantly, rising sea levels mean that when storm surges occur, they are worse.

A storm surge is a rise in sea level caused by wind and atmospheric pressure changes which particularly impacts lying land and the communities that live there.

In fact, it is often the storm surge that causes the most damage during a storm, as happened in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

As Hurricane Ian continues to rip through Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has already called the damage caused to his state by Hurricane Ian "historic" with more than two million people left without power and the true extent of the damage still unclear.

A warming planet also means that the water cycle is being intensified.

Put simply, more heat means more evaporation, which means more moisture in clouds and therefore more intense rainfall.

We also know that ocean temperatures are increasing.

This can make hurricanes more powerful as the heat from the surface of the water transfers energy to the storm as it heads towards land.

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There is also a theory that suggests climate change may be interfering with the atmospheric currents that keep storm systems moving.

Although there isn't real consensus about this yet, it may mean that storms linger for longer over affected regions and do more damage in the process.

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