Will climate change foster super storms bigger than anything before? Dr James Hansen warns “yes” and Meteorologist Jeff Masters explains. First, we revisit a fundamental interview with MIT’s Dr. Kerry Emanuel, surely one of the world’s top hurricane experts. Get informed and get ready. These are best of Radio Ecoshock replays – what you need to know about hurricanes in a new climate age.

Hurricane Beryl was the first Atlantic Cat 4 storm ever seen in June. It became the earliest Cat 5 as well.  Atlantic ocean waters have been record hot for over a year. The U.S. Government Agency NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms for 2024, with an 85% chance of above normal big storms.

Listen to or download this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (57 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)


Kerry Emanuel – The Devine Wind

Call them hurricanes, typhoons, or the preferred name in science, tropical cyclones. Don’t miss our guest Dr. Kerry Emanuel, author of “Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes” and well over 100 peer-reviewed papers on tropical cyclones. Find his web site here.

Dr. Emanuel is Professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-Director of the Lorenz Center. He is author of 5 books including “Climate Science and Climate Risk: A Primer” (for the educated non-specialist).

We discuss two new papers with Emanuel as co-author. The first is “Poleward expansion of tropical cyclone latitudes in warming climates” published in Nature December 29, 2021. Then we explore the second: “Tropical cyclone climatology change greatly exacerbates US extreme rainfall–surge hazard”. That is an open-access paper published in Nature Climate Change February 3, 2022.

For more notes on cyclones/hurricanes with Kerry Emanuel see my original show blog “Giant Storms In A Hotter World? “ here.

Giant Storms In A Hotter World? Kerry Emanuel

Listen to or download my half hour interview with Kerry Emanuel in CD Quality or Lo-Fi




Scientists say we need to extend the Hurricane rating system for storms bigger than Cat 5. Standards for Cat 6 storms have been suggested. Hurricane Dorian in 2019 would have been Cat 6. Michael Mann published a paper in PNAS in February 2024 saying: “Cat 6 hurricanes have arrived”.

But what if that is not enough? Heating world oceans has unpleasant surprises that are hard to predict. One of the world’s top climate scientists, former NASA head James Hansen, warns “super-storms” are coming. What does that mean? I talked with famous storm chaser and meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters about this scary possibility, in this 2016 interview. Jeff tells you where we are, and what disasters may roll out of heated seas.

Find links to follow up or download this interview in my show blog.


Listen to or download my 27 interview with Jeff Masters in CD Quality or Lo-Fi


Jeff Masters explains how the oceans may cool at the surface from meltwater from Greenland. The cooler air above that will clash with warm air drawn up with the Gulf Stream. Those temperature differences, and pressure differences, can generate very big storms. It’s a great explanation (better than I’ve written here) so please listen.

We also discuss how changes in the ocean currents may create more storms for Britain and Northern Europe. There’s a lot for your brain to chew on in this interview.


Even if you don’t live in a hurricane zone. these super strong storms can wreck an economy. Masses of people become homeless, depending on government and charitable aid. People are traumatized. Many people can leave hurricane zones if they can – a Diaspora as we saw after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Insurance companies withdraw or collapse. Food or energy supplies may also be impacted by hurricanes. You do need to know how these work and what is coming as we change the atmosphere.

Next week on Radio Ecoshock, we revisit critical information: 27 ways heat can kill you – 2 medical experts speak. This program is a kind of public service creating an information highway between scientists and experts straight to you. The show and my work is supported entirely by Ecoshock listeners who donate to keep it going. Can you help?

I’m Alex. Feel free to contact me any time using the contact form on this web site. I appreciate your ideas and reports from various parts of the world. Thank you for listening, and caring about our world.