MEDIA ADVISORY: EDF Experts Available for Interviews on Hurricane Ian

(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sept. 28, 2022) — Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on the Florida coast Wednesday afternoon, with severe short- and long-term impacts to the state. As you consider your coverage for Ian, EDF has field directors and climate scientists on the ground who can speak to the challenges fellow Floridians are facing as the hurricane approaches.

  • Florida Director Dawn Shirreffs, based in Tampa Bay, is an expert in regional resilience and a veteran in Florida’s environmental challenges and policies. She can speak to the dual-pronged approach Florida must take to both build its coastal resilience and mitigate climate change as the root cause of these stronger storms.
  • Climate Scientist Dr. Tianyi Sun is a PhD in Climate Dynamics from the University of Texas at Austin. She is available to comment on how climate change is making strong hurricanes like Ian intensify faster, happen more frequently, and cause more damage.

As Hurricane Ian prepares to strike the Florida coast, near Environmental Defense Fund’s St. Petersburg offices, EDF’s first focus and priority is on the safety and well-being of all those in the storm’s path, including first responders and its staff and partners in the region. We are actively monitoring the situation, with staff on the ground, to ensure their safety and to communicate what is happening to our broader network of staff and leadership.

EDF Florida Director Dawn Shirreffs and Climate Scientist Tianyi Sun are available to provide insights and analysis and comment on the challenges fellow Floridians are facing as Hurricane Ian approaches on the heels of Hurricane Fiona, which in Puerto Rico delivered between 18 and 25 inches of rain in three days and caused devastating flooding and landslides.

Hurricane Ian brings with it multiple risks not just to coastal communities but further inland.  Sea level rise is exacerbating storm surge from hurricanes while intense rainfall is increasing those risks, including for communities far beyond the coast. Climate change is increasing moisture in the atmosphere, creating greater downpours during hurricanes, thunderstorms and other heavy rain events.


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