To ABC News : ” It’s time to clean up Irene. The hurricane’s destructive path through 10 East Coast states left an estimated $7 billion to $13 billion of damage in its wake — without even accounting for economic losses.”
Estimates could climb to $20 billion (14 billion euros) if economic lost were taken into account… And this was by all standards a small hurricane. It wasn’t even one, but just a tropical storm when it reached most of the United States.
Climate change is making these phenomena worse. (cf. below) What are we waiting for slashing our emissions and thus, the risk of increased hurricanes and floods ?
Here is an extract of Climate Progress :
Climate science suggests that global warming will make hurricanes like Irene more destructive in three ways (all things being equal):
- Sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive.
- “Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10% more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding,” as NCAR Senior Scientist Kevin Trenberth put it in an email to me today.
- “However, because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well,” as Trenberth writes