Analysis: Era of monster hurricanes roiling the Atlantic

This Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, GOES East satellite image provided by NASA taken at 20:30 UTC, shows the eye of Hurricane Maria as it nears Dominica. (NASA via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An analysis of 167 years of federal storm data by The Associated Press finds that the monster hurricanes that raged across the Atlantic this season are contributing to what appears to be the most active period for major storms on record.

No 30-year period in history has seen this many major hurricanes or overall energy generated by those powerful storms, according to the analysis.

Scientists caution it is too soon to draw conclusions about the data because storms in the distant past may have gone unnoticed. Some scientists say past hurricane data is so weak that it’s impossible to connect the recent activity to global warming.

But more intense storms are what scientists expect to see as the planet’s climate changes because warmer ocean water is fuel for hurricanes.