November 2, 2012

How Climate Change Made Sandy More Destructive

Joseph Romm, Energy Collective


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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. In fact, a recent study found “The sea level on a stretch of the US Atlantic coast that features the cities of New York, Norfolk and Boston is rising up to four times faster than the global average.” “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 Kevin Trenberth explained to me in a 2011 email about Hurricane Irene. He elaborates on that point for Sandy here and for all superstorms in this article. “However, because water vapor and higher ocean...

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TAGGED: Greenhouse Gases, New Jersey, Carbon Emissions, Global Warming, Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change

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