Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Buzz

on Florida Politics

Bill Nelson says global warming led to Hurricane Michael’s strength: ‘Listen to the scientists’

Sen. Bill Nelson bluntly assigned blame for how an October tropical storm swiftly grew into the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle: It's global warming.

Speaking on CNN on Thursday, Nelson said Florida risks more devastation in its future if it doesn't soon adapt to rising temperatures and sea levels.

"Listen to the scientists at the National Hurricane Center," Nelson said. "Listen to the scientists at the National Weather Service, and they'll tell you that the Earth is heating up and the ferociousness of these storms is as a result, in part, of that heating up of the Earth."

Storm trackers said the Gulf of Mexico was an unseasonably warm 84 degrees — 2 to 4 degrees hotter than normal — which contributed to Hurricane Michael growing into a Category 4 with wind speeds of 155 mph before it slammed into the Panhandle coast.

READ MORE: Four reasons why Hurricane Michael was so devastating

Hurricane Michael is the fourth most powerful hurricane to ever hit the United States, according to wind speed measurements, and it is the strongest October storm on record.

The average gulf temperature has risen consistently over the last few decades. Winter 2017 was the first time the average sea surface temperature never fell below 73 degrees in the gulf.

Michael, Nelson said, "picked up in a short period of time, that extra strength fueled from that hot water of the Gulf of Mexico, and then that was what was so surprising to everybody and so deadly as it approached the coast."

POLITIFACT: What we know about climate change and hurricanes.

Last week, United Nation scientists warned that global temperatures over the coming years will rise more swiftly than expected. Drastic action within the next decade is necessary, they said, or extreme heat and powerful weather events will grow increasingly common.

"Florida is ground zero," Nelson said. "Look what's happening down in South Florida on the mean high tide that is sloshing over the street curbs in places like Miami Beach."

"We've got to be clearheaded as we approach each storm season because this is what we are increasingly going to be facing," he added. "And as a result, we're going to have to adapt to that, instead of living in the past, we're going to have to adapt to that in our building standards and our location of structures in the future."

Comments
Records show FBI agents gave Andrew Gillum tickets to ‘Hamilton’ in 2016

Records show FBI agents gave Andrew Gillum tickets to ‘Hamilton’ in 2016

Undercover FBI agents paid for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's hotel room and his ticket to the Broadway musical Hamilton during a 2016 trip to New York City, according to a bombshell trove of records that raise new questions just two weeks be...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
TV ad wars intensify in Rick Scott-Bill Nelson Senate race

TV ad wars intensify in Rick Scott-Bill Nelson Senate race

Two weeks out, the TV advertising wars are intensifying in Florida's U.S. Senate race.The League of Conservation Voters and EDF Action Tuesday launched a $2.25 million air assault on Republican Gov. Rick Scott over the red tide crisis in the state.Th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Poll: Andrew Gillum leads Ron DeSantis by 6 in Florida governor’s race

Poll: Andrew Gillum leads Ron DeSantis by 6 in Florida governor’s race

The most recent governor's race poll shows what every independent general election survey has shown: Andrew Gillum is winning.A newly released Quinnipiac poll of 1,161 likely voters in Florida shows the Democratic nominee, Gillum, ahea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Hurricane Michael: 928 people still unaccounted for as battered Panhandle prepares for rain

Hurricane Michael: 928 people still unaccounted for as battered Panhandle prepares for rain

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Michael thrashed the Florida Panhandle, 928 people are still unaccounted for, according to state emergency officials.Those people were informally reported missing to state and local officials, as well as the Red Cross...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hurricane Michael unearthed a 19th century shipwreck on Dog Island

Hurricane Michael unearthed a 19th century shipwreck on Dog Island

Hurricane Michael carved through the Florida Panhandle with crushing force, reducing entire neighborhoods to flattened rubble and killing at least 27 people, according to state and local officials.But among the destruction is also a reemergence ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Steve Bannon tickets now going for zero dollars

Steve Bannon tickets now going for zero dollars

The Hillsborough County Republican Party's dinner with former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon is now free.Party vice chairman Jeff Lukens sent an email to members of the local party Monday saying, "The Trump Anniversary Dinner with Steve Bannon ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
What’s at stake in tonight’s Florida attorney general debate between Moody and Shaw

What’s at stake in tonight’s Florida attorney general debate between Moody and Shaw

The most important overlooked race in Florida – one that could alter the state's relationship with President Donald Trump and affect the Trump agenda – will see its only televised debate tonight.It's the attorney general's race, for an of...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Caldwell and NRA attack Fried two weeks before election day

Caldwell and NRA attack Fried two weeks before election day

Just two weeks before the midterm election, Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner Rep. Matt Caldwell released an attack advertisement, calling out opponent Nikki Fried for being a lobbyist.The ad, paid for by the Florida Republican Senato...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Parents of Parkland students get lesson in politics: ‘None of us knew how hard this would be’

Parents of Parkland students get lesson in politics: ‘None of us knew how hard this would be’

WASHINGTON — A political action committee launched by parents of Parkland students is scaling back its 2018 midterm plans in the wake of disappointing fund raising totals.The group, Families vs. Assault Rifles, was launched in May by Jeffr...
Updated: 9 hours ago
More than 1 million have voted; early voting surges in South Florida

More than 1 million have voted; early voting surges in South Florida

More than a million Florida voters have chosen a new governor, a full two weeks before Election Day.And the first day of early voting in the state's largest, Democratic-leaning counties suggests a much stronger turnout in 2018 than in 2014.In Miami-D...
Updated: 9 hours ago