Hurricane Expert Cautions Don Lemon Against Linking Hurricane Ian’s Intensity to Climate Change

The director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center appeared on CNN on Tuesday and cautioned host Don Lemon against linking climate change to the intensity of Hurricane Ian.

At first, NOAA Director Jamie Rhome deflected Lemon’s suggestion that the hurricane’s intensity is linked to climate change.

“We can come back and talk about climate change at a later time,” answered Rhome. “I want to focus on the here and now.”

“We think the rapid intensification is probably almost done,” Rhome continued. “There could be a little bit more intensification as it’s still over the warm waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but I don’t think we’re going to get any more rapid intensification.”

Lemon, however, continued to press Rhome as to the link between the intensity of Hurricane Ian and climate change.

“Listen, I’m just trying to get, you said you want to talk about climate change,” Lemon responded. “But what effect does climate change have on this phenomenon that is happening now?”

“Because it seems these storms are intensifying,” said Lemon. “That’s the question.”

“I don’t think you can link climate change to any one event,” answered Rhome. “On the whole, on the cumulative, climate change may be making storms worse.”

“But to link it to any one event, I would caution against that,” said Rhome.

Lemon seemed unconvinced, citing his own personal history as a resident of Florida.

“Listen, I grew up there, and these storms are intensifying,” stated Lemon. “Something is causing them to intensify.”

Later in the interview, Lemon brought up the fact that people are moving to Florida in record numbers, and they may not have experience with hurricanes.

“I’m really worried about them, hoping that they’re, rather than try to tackle this one on their own, they’re heeding the advice of local officials,” he said.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwestern Florida on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.

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