The most common question I have had in the last couple of days: "Was climate change responsible for Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines." Variations come in e-mails and were put to me this evening on the Fusion TV network by popular news anchor Jorge Ramos. Fair question.
(A similar question was raised a year ago, after Sandy. Months later, many experts decided they could statistically make that connection.)
Atlantic Hurricanes are the same thing as Pacific Typhoons. Both are fundamentally caused by high levels of ocean heat. Like most weather phenomena it is a complex recipe including air and ocean currents, barometric pressures, wind shear and more.
Even though the ocean is 1.5 degrees F (.85 degrees C) warmer