Environment Magazine

Sandy, is There a Link?

Posted on the 31 October 2012 by Thewritefuture @thewritefuture

Photo sandy
Horrible to see the devastation, damage and sadness the storm Sandy has caused over the last week in the Caribbean and North America.  Even though storms like this have happened in all times, some experts claim there is a link with Climate Change. 

I read an interesting article on Huffington post website about this. I have copied the part about the impact of global warming on the weather, for the full article on Huffington, see link below. 

"We can't blame the existence of a single hurricane on global warming, just like a die weighted to roll sixes can't be blamed for any single roll of a six," said Michael Mann, a physicist and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. Sixes, after all, will sometimes happen anyway, even when the dice aren't loaded, Mann explained.

"But we can see that climate change is playing a role in setting the context for these storms," Mann continued, "in particular the record levels of North Atlantic ocean warmth that is available to feed these storms with energy and moisture."

Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the USA National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the world's foremost experts on changes to global energy and water cycles, suggested in an email message that Hurricane Sandy represents the "new normal."

"Climate change is changing the weather," Trenberth said. "The past few years have been marked by unusually severe extreme weather characteristic of climate change. The oceans are warmer and the atmosphere above the oceans is warmer and wetter. This new normal changes the environment for all storms and makes them more intense and with much more precipitation."

Rising temperatures are also likely to intensify other storm phenomena. Thunderstorms may become less frequent but more intense, for example. And all that extra moisture also increases the threat of inland flooding, as happened after Hurricane Irene passed over the East Coast last year, contributing to the lion's share of roughly $16 billion in total damages. Add to this that the fact that ocean surges associated with such storms now ride on sea levels that have risen over the last century, and the potential for catastrophic losses is plain.

Scary to realize storms like this will happen more often and will be more severe if we don't change our life style now. Let's hope this will be a wake up call for all of us.

More information: 

Huffingtin post, In Hurricane Sandy's Fury, The Fingerprint Of Climate Change 

Treehugger, 9 Records Blown Away by Superstorm Sandy

NASA, Earth Observatory

Treehugger, A Climate Scientist Explains How Global Warming Makes Hurricane Sandy Nastier

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