But we don't need any amputations to figure out some things that we can indeed say about hurricanes and global warming. Principally this: While scientists sort all this out, sea levels continue to rise due to global warming. The picture here is very clear. And that means that every single hurricane that hits land will push seawater farther inland when it does so. Or as one scientist told me in the wake of Sandy, "There is 100 percent certainty that sea level rise made this worse. Period."
And then there's the warming of the oceans, which leads to two more clear conclusions, according to Masters. Warmer oceans make hurricane seasons longer, and they also make it possible for storms to travel north. The first idea is supported by published research suggesting an increasing frequency of late-season storms like Sandy (persisting into November or later), and the latter is simply a deduction from principles of physics: If oceans are hotter, hurricanes are more likely to be able to travel north out of the tropics and still have their energy source sustained.
In other words, it's a bad time to be Iceland.
EDIT: also I can't believe you passed up the opportunity to use such a brilliant headline.