• Climate

Analysis of “How Hurricane Patricia became the strongest hurricane on record so quickly”

Posted on:  2015-10-27

Reviewed content

Published in Mashable, by Andrew Freedman, on 2015-10-23.

1.4 scientific credibility
"1.4" verdict chart image

Scientists’ Feedback


This article is accurate and based on comments from scientists with actual expertise in the study of climate influence on intense hurricanes. It describes the roles of El Niño, greenhouse warming, and other physical factors at play in Hurricane Patricia’s spectacular intensification.

See all the scientists’ annotations in context



James Kossin, Research Scientist, NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate

Nice piece. Well written and accurate, with a good variety of quotes. Doesn’t over-reach or sensationalize, and presents some aspects of what we know in a clear useful way. In fact, the connection between climate change and Patricia may be a bit understated and overly conservative, as the connection between climate change and the most extreme hurricanes was not discussed.



These comments are the overall opinion of scientists on the article, they are substantiated by their knowledge in the field and by the content of the analysis in the annotations on the article.

Karthik Balaguru member picture

Karthik Balaguru

Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The article is well-written and explains the potential scientific reasons behind the rapid intensification of Hurricane Patricia reasonably.

Hamish Ramsay member picture

Hamish Ramsay

Lecturer, Monash University

A well written and balanced article that draws on a range of scientific opinion from well-established climate scientists, hurricane specialists and forecasters. The article provides a nice summary of the major physical factors at play, while also highlighting the issues and challenges to do with detection and attribution of extreme events such as this.

Daniel Cohan member picture

Daniel Cohan

Associate Professor, Rice University

The author has undertaken a superb effort to incorporate the instant reactions of leading experts in tropical cyclone formation. The article provides a nuanced explanation of current scientific understanding and uncertainty regarding the relative roles of El Niño and greenhouse warming in intensifying Pacific storms.

Dan Chavas member picture

Dan Chavas

Assistant Professor, Purdue University

It’s a very nice article overall, as it is more an organized survey of scientists rather than a non-science author trying to make a scientific argument. My concerns lie only with the content provided by one of the scientist contributors (Kevin Trenberth), which is not the author’s responsibility.

Emmanuel Vincent member picture

Emmanuel Vincent

Founder & Executive Director, Science Feedback

A good description of what scientists think about the influence of climate change on intense hurricanes like Patricia.

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[2] Each evaluation is independent. Scientists’ comments are all published at the same time.

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