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Is Hurricane Sandy another sign of climate change?

A few weeks ago, I reported HERE that an increasing percentage of Americans say there’s solid evidence that man-made global warming is a fact — presumably because of the numerous weather anomalies of recent years.

And now the question arises as to whether Hurricane Sandy is the result of ongoing climate change.

Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker has THIS to say on the matter:

As with any particular “weather-related loss event,” it’s impossible to attribute Sandy to climate change. However, it is possible to say that the storm fits the general pattern in North America, and indeed around the world, toward more extreme weather, a pattern that, increasingly, can be attributed to climate change…[S]cientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in New York, published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the apparent increase in extreme heat waves. Extreme summertime heat, which just a few decades ago affected much less than one per cent of the earth’s surface, “now typically covers about 10% of the land area,” the paper observed. “It follows that we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies”—i.e., heat waves—“such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small.” It is worth noting that one of several forces fuelling Sandy is much-higher-than-average sea-surface temperatures along the East Coast.

(Snip)

It is, at this point, impossible to say what it will take for American politics to catch up to the reality of North American climate change. More super-storms, more heat waves, more multi-billion-dollar “weather-related loss events”? The one thing that can be said is that, whether or not our elected officials choose to acknowledge the obvious, we can expect, “with a high degree of confidence,” that all of these are coming.

 

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6 Comments

  1. “it is possible to say that the storm fits the general pattern in North America”.

    Yes, the pattern that New York City experiences a major hurricane every 70 or 80 years. See:Long Island Express.

  2. Meghan McCain is convinced it is, and I of course agree with her and Pat.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/264755-meghan-mccain-to-gop-do-you-still-doubt-climate-change

  3. It must be climate change and even Global warming.

    1821 Hurricane: Without modern technology, the hurricane in September, 1821, caught New Yorkers off guard when, in one hour, the tide rose 13 feet. The East River and Hudson River breached, with their waters meeting across Lower Manhattan. The area was not largely populated then, so there were few deaths

    1893 Hurricane A Category 1 hurricane completely destroyed Hog Island, a resort island in southern Queens

    1938 Hurricane Nearly 200 people were killed when the Category 3 hurricane swept over Long Island and into New England. It caused millions of dollars of damages in NYC, where it killed 10 people and destroyed hundreds of trees in Central Park

    1954, Carol The hurricane, which had sustained winds of more than 100mph, hit eastern Long Island and caused major flooding throughout New York City

    1955, Connie and Diane Rain from the two hurricanes caused flooding across the city. There were more than 200 deaths in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey

    1960, Donna The hurricane created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor, inflicting extensive pier damage

    1972, Agnes The tropical storm flooded areas from North Caroline to New York and caused 122 deaths and more than $6 billion in damage

    1985, Gloria Serious damage was inflicted on Long Island

    1996, Bertha The tropical storm washed out the city in July 1966

    1999, Floyd The tropical storm hit New Jersey and New York with 60mph winds and dropped up to 15 inches of rain. Flash flooding forced residents from their homes

    2011, Irene The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm just before hitting the city, which had issued mandatory evacuation orders for those living along the coast. Up to 7 inches of rain fell as winds reached 65 mph. It inflicted an estimated $100 million in damages

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2225108/Hurricane-Sandy-2012-pictures-FIFTY-DEAD–NOT-over.html#ixzz2AsDG6gFY
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  4. Wilson’s a global-warming denier? Why am I not surprised?

    I’ll bet he’s an evolution denier, too. That would fit perfectly with his wingnut penchant.

  5. Luke Fredrickson

    “Political analyst Meghan McCain”

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Nice article Nef. Definitely Onion worthy.

  6. There is Pat making it up as he goes along. What a stretch, I list storms and agree it must be Climate change or Global warming and I am called a denier.
    I just assumed global warming caused all those storms can there be any other explanation?

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