Climate change compounding natural disasters - Obama

US President Barack Obama speaks to the press after receiving the yearly hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing at the National Hurricane Center in Miami on May 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

Miami (AFP) - US President Barack Obama warned Thursday that climate change was making natural disasters worse, as he toured the National Hurricane Center ahead of the annual storm season.

"The best climate scientists in the world are telling us that extreme weather events like hurricanes are likely to become more powerful," Obama said on a visit to the facility in Florida, restating his case for action to tackle manmade changes to the environment.

"When you combine stronger storms with rising seas, that's a recipe for more devastating floods."

"Climate change didn’t cause Hurricane Sandy, but it might have made it stronger," he added, speaking about the storm which devastated parts of New York in 2012.

"The fact that the sea level in New York Harbor is about a foot higher than a century ago certainly made the storm surge worse."

Obama's comments came as Texas struggles against some of the worst flooding in years.

"Lives have been lost and our condolences go out to the families that have been affected. But there's going to be a lot of work that has to be done for rebuilding," Obama said.