This week in science: Michael flattens Florida panhandle

Hurricane Michael as seen from space shortly before landfall on Oct 10, 2018.

Hurricane Michael as seen from space shortly before landfall on Oct 10, 2018.

It’s bad enough when a big hurricane spins up and goes lumbering into a populated coast over a week or more. Michael spun up to major hurricane status in a day and continued intensifying right up the threshold of a Category 5 mere minutes from landfall:

Michael could have become even stronger if not for some adverse wind shear, potentially reaching full Category 5 strength. That’s what happened in a model of the storm that Emanuel ran in real time. “With no shear, Michael would have intensified substantially faster,” he said.

Climate scientists have begun to focus on hurricane rapid intensification as an increasingly prevalent feature in the world we’re entering. Simply put, with warmer seas, storms ought to be able to pull this off more often.

Don’t bother parsing this: hell yes it was climate change! Hurricanes are heat engines, all things being equal, the more heat in the ocean, the more intense the hurricane.

A small but growing proportion of the youngest children in the U.S. have not been vaccinated against any disease, worrying health officials. An estimated 100,000 young children have not had a vaccination against any of the 14 diseases for which shots are recommended, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday.

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