Tagged With hurricane irma

Hurricane Irma barreled through the Caribbean earlier this month, killing at least 38 people in the region and destroying thousands of buildings. Unfortunately, 2017's relentless hurricane season is not letting up, and it looks as though Tropical Storm Maria is likely to become a hurricane before it hits the already-ravaged area this week.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

Before us humans drained it, South Florida was first and foremost a swamp. Infrastructure improvements went in to make it look the way it is today, with its sewers and drainage systems built to take water back to the ocean. But when Hurricane Irma made itself known last week, it brought back old memories of the aged infrastructure, confirming a prediction made by Quartz.

Over the past week, Irma has redefined our expectations of how powerful a hurricane can be and left devastation in its wake: The once-Category 5 cyclone roared through the Caribbean, leaving one million people in Puerto Rico without power, and caused significant flooding in Miami, Naples and many other parts of Florida. It was difficult enough for seasoned hurricane veterans to hunker down for the storm, and adding the thousands of animals from Florida's zoos and theme parks into the equation made preparations even more difficult. But damn did Floridians pull it off.

Irma, which made landfall in the Florida Keys yesterday as a Category 4 hurricane, has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. The system, which is now 644km wide, may have lost some strength, but it's continuing to produce heavy winds and rain as it marches northwards towards Georgia.

As Hurricane Irma rakes the west coast of Florida, all eyes are on the cities and human lives in the storm's path. But Irma is also hammering the Florida Everglades, and the scientists familiar with this fragile ecosystem are concerned the storm could deliver a devastating blow.

In a bonkers interview with CNN yesterday, Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt doubled down on the climate censorship that's become foundational to this US administration's environmental agenda. A longtime denier of man-made climate change, Pruitt told CNN it is "insensitive" to discuss the role climate change may have played in strengthening Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma.

Let's talk about a few facts. Billionaire party enthusiast Richard Branson owns a private isle in the Virgin Islands. Branson's island sits squarely in the path of Hurricane Irma, one the strongest storms the Atlantic has ever seen. Rather than retreat to a safer location, Branson has collected a mysterious group of "young people" for a "sleepover" in the wine cellar on his private island. They're gonna ride it out.

Meteorologists were at a loss for words yesterday as Hurricane Irma intensified into a enormous, record-smashing Category 5. Packing "catastrophic" and "life-threatening" winds of 300km/h, the storm now bearing down on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin islands is officially the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded north of the Caribbean and east of Florida. But how did it get to be such a monster?