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November 13, 2013

What If Super Typhoons Become a Way of Life?

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In the wake of the massive typhoon that hit the Philippines last week, Filipino climate change commissioner Yeb Sano appealed to the international community to take action against a warming planet.

“I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm,” he said. “We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life.”

Typhoon Haiyan stretched hundreds of miles wide with sustained winds of 190 to 195 mph, making it one of the strongest storms ever recorded. Its power raises the question: are storms getting stronger as the planet gets warmer?

While climate scientists don’t tie any one weather event to climate change, they do warn that greenhouse gas emissions could cause extreme weather, like Typhoon Haiyan, superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to become more intense.


Warm up questions
  1. Is global warming a fact or theory? For the difference between a fact and a theory watch Bite Sci-zed video “Theory vs. Scientific Theory” from Alex Dainis.
  2. What do you know about global warming? What are its effects on the planet? How can it be stopped?
  3. What do you know about Typhoon Haiyan? Where did it hit? What happened?
Discussion questions
  1. Do you think that Typhoon Haiyan (or its intensity) is a product of climate change? Explain your answer.
  2. What can you do to help the survivors?
  3. What can we do to support efforts to reduce climate change?
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