Unless you have spent the week remote from civilization, you must have heard of THE event of the week : Disney bought the Star Wars franchise. Ooops, sorry, I meant : Hurricane Sandy, also known as the Frankenstorm.
All joking aside, the matter is tremendously serious as dozens died in the Caribbean and the United States. Billion of Dollars of damages will probably be recorded as New York and many other cities were flooded.
This hurricane broke the deafening climate silence of the US presidential election, or at least in the collective mind (but not for candidate Romney).
With climate continuing to warm, the Arctic will be – very soon – ice free in the summers. This will worsen even more the situation and water will rise inexorably. As per CNN :
Superstorm Sandy was no freak, say experts, but rather a hint of a coming era when millions of Americans will struggle to survive killer weather.
They’re telling us we shouldn’t be surprised that this 900-mile-wide monster marched up the East Coast this week paralyzing cities and claiming scores of lives.
“It’s a foretaste of things to come,” Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer told CNN. “Bigger storms and higher sea levels” will pile on to create a “growing threat” in the coming decades.
And New York, he warned, “is highly vulnerable.”
Climate Progress got – as always – an excellent article on that as well. Here are some extracts :
Climate science explains how global warming can make a superstorms like Sandy more destructive in several ways:
- Warming-driven 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,”
- “However, because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well,”
- The unusual path of the storm — into the heavily populated east coast rather than out to see — was caused by a very strong blocking high pressure system that recent studies have linked to warming.
As Bill McKibben from 350.org stated : ” If there was ever a wakeup call, this is it.”