Speaking to Brian Becker with Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear, Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont, said that while "you can't say if there had been no global warming, there wouldn't have been the storm," it definitely was "made worse because of global warming."
According to Magdoff, it's simple: the hurricane was able to hold more liquid as a result of the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico evaporating into the atmosphere.
"The warmer the water, the more the water evaporates into the atmosphere, the warmer the atmosphere, the more water it can hold," Magdoff explained. "These types of storms will hold more water."
Acknowledging that some dismiss the notion of global warming, Magdoff went on to say that even if there were a hurricane about to make landfall and the global warming wasn't real, "you wouldn't have that much water in the hurricane because you would've had less evaporation and less water being held in the atmosphere."
But this wasn't the only factor that made Harvey so destructive.
Magdoff says this is the exact reason why so many communities are being affected by the destruction Harvey unleashed. "It's an issue of a lack of zoning or poor zoning laws" where communities are being built on areas far beyond the capacity of the soil to absorb excess water.
"When you cover so much land with asphalt… all of the land that is underneath is impermeable," Magdoff told Becker. "So water that would normally percolate into the soil has no way to do that and it ends up going into the bayou and streams."
With India, Nepal and Bangladesh currently dealing with one of the worst monsoon rains in recent history, Magdoff says that incident is just another "Harvey" — an at least partly man-made disaster — that "played out differently in a different region of the world."