U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been explicit over the years in connecting increasing temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean with deadlier hurricanes, and Hurricane Michael did not change his mind.
Appearing on CNN Thursday morning, Nelson noted that “Florida is Ground Zero” when it comes to hurricanes, with the warm waters in the Gulf fueling this storm’s rapid intensification.
“What was particularly deadly about this storm,” Nelson said, “is that the Gulf of Mexico was four degrees hotter than is usual for October.”
“It picked up in a short period of time that extra-strength fuel from that hot water of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s what was so surprising to everybody. And so deadly as it hit the coast,” Nelson said.
“Look what’s happening down in South Florida on the King high tide,” Nelson said. “Water sloshing over the curbs like in Miami Beach.”
“Listen to the scientists,” Nelson said. “They will tell you it’s heating up, and the ferociousness of these storms is a result in part of that heating up of the earth.”
“This is what we’re increasingly going to be facing. We’re going to have to adapt to that,” Nelson said, noting building codes and locations likely would need to change.