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News & Issues > Will Sandy Change Global Warming Argument?

Will Sandy Change Global Warming Argument?

Hurricane Sandy may have finally made believers of people that global warming is real. It seems to have definitely convinced the independent mayor of New York City that global warming is certainly more of a reality than it was two weeks ago.

Just two days after Sandy struck, Mayor Bloomberg came out in support of the President for re-election, stating that President Obama's commitment to global warming was the catalyst in his decision-making process.

And Governor Cuomo echoed that sentiment when he stated that in the past the state of New York might experience a flood in 100 years; but now they were coming about every two years.

In 2011, 14 major weather events occurred costing at least $1 billion each, says the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Sandy alone is expected to run $20 billion. Droughts, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms and wildfires are active and having widespread effects.

Even Fox News (will wonders never cease), long a vocal opponent of global warming, admitted that certain aspects of global warming probably definitely did contribute to Sandy. According to Fox News, some individual parts of Sandy and its wrath seem to be influenced by climate change, several climate scientists said.

First, there's sea level rise. Water levels around New York are a nearly a foot higher than they were 100 years ago, said Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

Add to that the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 2 degrees warmer on average than a century ago, said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. Warm water fuels hurricanes.

And Sandy zipped north along a warmer-than-normal Gulf Stream that travels from the Caribbean to Ireland, said Jeff Masters, meteorology director for the private service Weather Underground.

Meteorologists are also noticing more hurricanes late in the season and even after the season.

A 2008 study said the Atlantic hurricane season seems to be starting earlier and lasting longer but found no explicit link to global warming. Normally there are 11 named Atlantic storms. The past two years have seen 19 and 18 named storms. This year, with one month to go, there are 19.

After years of disagreement, climate scientists and hurricane experts have concluded that as the climate warms, there will be fewer total hurricanes. But those storms that do develop will be stronger and wetter.

Sandy took an unprecedented sharp left turn into New Jersey. Usually storms keep heading north and turn east harmlessly out to sea. But a strong ridge of high pressure centered over Greenland blocked Sandy from going north or east, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, an expert in how a warming Arctic affects extreme weather patterns, said recent warming in the Arctic may have played a role in enlarging or prolonging that high pressure area. But she cautioned it's not clear whether the warming really had that influence on Sandy.

While components of Sandy seem connected to global warming, "mostly it's natural, I'd say it's 80, 90 percent natural," said Gerald North, a climate professor at Texas A&M University. "These things do happen, like the drought. It's a natural thing."

On Tuesday, both New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they couldn't help but notice that extreme events like Sandy are causing them more and more trouble.

"What is clear is that the storms that we've experienced in the last year or so, around this country and around the world, are much more severe than before," Bloomberg said. "Whether that's global warming or what, I don't know. But we'll have to address those issues."

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/30/scientists-global-warming-didnt-brew-superstorm-but-it-might-have-heated-up-key/#ixzz2BOGcTV1V

posted on Nov 5, 2012 3:02 PM ()


Isn't it amazing that the vast majority of unbelievers are Republicans?
comment by dragonflyby on Nov 14, 2012 7:58 AM ()
The storm is already having a political impact re. global warming. Now that we have dodged a retro bullet with the re-election of the President, we may have a chance to make progress in this area.
comment by tealstar on Nov 8, 2012 5:45 AM ()
Now, if only we can convince the populace that the Grand Canyon wasn't the result of the biblical great flood!
comment by solitaire on Nov 7, 2012 6:38 AM ()
It's hard to believe there are any unbelievers left!
comment by maggiemae on Nov 6, 2012 7:54 AM ()
Sea levels have already risen -- a few low lying populated islands have been evacuated in the indian ocean and coral sea.
Catastrophies have always been around with the weather, i think the believers might be right though
comment by kevinshere on Nov 5, 2012 10:08 PM ()
We are having unprecedented weather events that can only be due to global
warming and that are catastrophic.
comment by elderjane on Nov 5, 2012 3:29 PM ()
yes, they are and we are going to have more and more of them. We cannot continue to ignore this problem. We have to tackle it aggressively, or there will be no world left.
reply by redimpala on Nov 5, 2012 3:46 PM ()
And now they have another storm coming.
I just posted Peter's reaction to another posting--would love to get your response.
comment by greatmartin on Nov 5, 2012 3:21 PM ()
I'm heading that way.
reply by redimpala on Nov 5, 2012 3:46 PM ()

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