PNS Daily Newscast - July 6,2020 

Today is the final day to register to vote in Arizona's primary election; the FDA declines to back Trump claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless."

2020Talks - July 6, 2020 

This year's July 4th had COVID-19, ongoing protests about systemic racism, and a presidential visit to Mt. Rushmore. Plus, Trump signed an order to plan a new statue park.

Lessons from Matthew: Climate Change, Hurricanes

A leading climate expert says Hurricane Matthew was fueled by climate change. (
A leading climate expert says Hurricane Matthew was fueled by climate change. (
October 10, 2016

MIAMI – Hurricane Matthew avoided a direct hit on Florida, but one climate expert says this is not the time to breathe a sigh of relief, given the impact of climate change.

At its peak, Matthew surpassed several milestones as one of the strongest, longest lasting hurricanes of its kind on record.

Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, is one of the country's top climate scientists. He says typically when a hurricane forms, it churns up cold water from the deep, which dampens the storm's strength.

But because the greenhouse effect has warmed the world's oceans to record levels, Mann believes going forward we will see a longer, stronger hurricane season.

"Of the storms that continue to form, the strongest ones are going to be stronger than they were before, and the vast majority of damage and devastation is done by the few strongest storms," he states.

Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30, with a statistical peak around Sept. 10.

Mann says the verdict is still out on how climate change will impact wind shear, one of the factors that can mitigate a hurricane's development.

Hurricane Matthew is blamed for more than 800 deaths in Haiti and at least 17 in the United States.

Mann says there are steps all Floridians can take to improve their readiness to respond to storms, but as for reversing this trend, he urges Floridians to do their homework and know where local, state and national candidates stand on climate change before heading to the polls next month.

"The only way that that's going to stop is if we do something about the underlying problem, which is human-caused climate change, and that requires at the very least accepting that the problem exists," he states.

The Obama administration has taken several steps to combat climate change, including the Clean Power Plan.

Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she would defend and implement those policies, while Republican Donald Trump has on several occasions denied the existence of climate change and said he would cancel the Paris climate agreement and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - FL