Hurricane Matthew is swirling across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. It has left hundreds of people dead in Haiti when passing through. People in Haiti will face a long recovery after the worst hurricane in 50 years. Hurricane Matthew has also left 300,000 people in Florida without power. It is poised to incur tremendous amount of damages. Every time when we experience extreme weather events of this magnitude, we feel impulsed to ask the 1-million-dollar question, "is climate change to blame?" We know for sure that hurricanes form over a large body of warm water. With the global temperature rising and oceans heating up, the intensity and frequency of hurricanes will theoretically increase. In reality, though, our observations have not been able to depict a clear picture of increasing trends of hurricane intensity and frequency.
Here is a Washington Post article on what we can and we can't say about climate change and Hurricane Matthew:
For more scientific inquiry, check out NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's overview of current research results about global warming and hurricanes: