Climate change and superstorm Sandy: Perfect together

This disaster is an environmental wake up call.

By Jonathan Berr Oct 31, 2012 2:09PM

New Jersey's shore is obliterated.  Large patches of New York City remain without power.  But the real headline about Hurricane Sandy may be about climate change.

One of the reasons why Sandy's impact was so devastating in New Jersey, New York City and other areas of the Eastern Seaboard is because man-made pollutants are changing the earth's climate for the worse. For instance, the oceans are roughly 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than they were a few decades ago.  Though that doesn't seem that impressive, that is actually a huge change with far-reaching consequences given that 70% of the earth's surface is ocean.


"They are warmer even down to the deepest depths," said Brenda Ekwurzel, a scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an interview with MSN.  "Oceans are bearing the brunt of climate change."

Warm ocean temperatures acts like an energy drink on hurricanes, giving them more power to cause even more destruction than they would have otherwise.

Another reason why Sandy packed such a brutal punch was because the levels of the world's oceans are rising.   The area from the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S East Coast and Canada's Maritime Provinces is rising 4 times faster than the rest of the world, making the area more vulnerable to flooding in the event of serious weather events, according to Ekwurzel.  Water levels around New York City are nearly a foot higher than they were a century ago.

Scientists are unsure whether climate change causes more severe weather events, but does that really matter if the storms that do occur are as devastating as Sandy or worse?. Sadly, the presidential candidates have had little to say about climate change. This is an issue that people can no longer ignore.

"The deniers will keep denying—even with the evidence in hand—after all their position is based in politics which as we've seen this year, often have loose footing in fact," writes Adrianna Quintero on the blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council.  " For the rest of us who want to evolve beyond fossil fuels, dirty air and fear of the next superstorm, drought, or freakish unprecedented extreme weather event, we don’t need more proof, we need action." 


Devastating hurricanes and draughts are the new new normal thanks to climate change.  Let's hope than Sandy is a wake-up call that is not ignored.

--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter@jdberr
37Comments
Oct 31, 2012 8:21PM
avatar
Still waiting for an intelligent comment on a very serious subject.
Nov 1, 2012 9:54AM
avatar
Sandy had NOTHING to do with climate change. It was a normal storm that ran into a normal cold front. Bad timing, that's it. And I'm an environmentalist. It's crap like this that gives us a bad name.
Oct 31, 2012 8:23PM
avatar
Still waiting for an intelligent comment on a serious subject.
Oct 31, 2012 4:29PM
avatar
Never let a crisis go to waste.  It was only a matter of time before all the Prius drives started yelling that any major weather event is really a man made event.

Is there climate change underway - yes - there is always climate change underway.  Does this directly effect our weather - at some point yes but that does not mean that Sandy was a result of climate change.  Is it possible to prove - no and you will never get a consensus.

Is mankind responsible for the global warming and therefore Sandy - I doubt it and its the hight of arrogance to be telling the world that is it is.  BTW - driving a Prius will also not stop nor even slow global warming in the unlikely event that mankind is at the root of the problem.  Not to mention what are you going to do with all these dirty/toxic batteries in about 10 years.
Nov 1, 2012 10:25AM
avatar
There ARE natural long term weather cycles (everyone knows about the Ice Age).
Global warming and climate change are undeniable, AND the evidence points to man made pollution exacerbating the problem.
Nov 1, 2012 12:47PM
avatar
Climate change has been repeatedly proven over and over in the scientific community. Over 99% of all scientist agree it is real and present. I'm schocked there are stupid people that still don't realize that. #BecauseYouKnoeMoreThanAllTheScientistInTheWorldRight?
Nov 2, 2012 1:57PM
avatar

There is such a thing as climate change on the earth. It has happened before, it will happen again. Calling it "man made" is the issue. I, personally , do not believe it is "man made". We have had something like 5 ice ages on earth. I do not think there were any cars during any of them. We know that the oceans have been at many levels during the worlds history. I don't think fossil fuels were the issue then. I believe getting"research funding" has more to do with "scientific opinions" than anything else. Give us data about the earths orbit around the sun, the varying wobble of the earth, solar activity,etc. There is a more complete picture out there.

 It does not mean we should not be good stewards of the earth, but maybe we need more and honest data not influenced by "funding".

Nov 1, 2012 12:41PM
avatar

Climate change may or may not be producing stonger storms, may or may not exist at all and may or may not be the product of pollution.  HOWEVER, we will never know from this writer (who should be restricted from comment on the issue because of his activist position).

 

The clue is that the variation in the rise of the ocean level CANNOT be a product of climate change, logically.  The writer's inclusion of this as caused by climate change shows their stance beyond reason or fact and all they write on the subject should be discredited.  What a shame his over zealous stance gives the "deniers" more ammunition, we need open-minded reporting (I won't hold my breath).

Nov 2, 2012 11:35AM
avatar
Climate change is another government department that helps the unemployment numbers. I can remember tornado's in michigan back in the 50's. They ran their course for a few years and now they are gone. Now they are in other parts of the mid-west. We use to have tons of snow in Detroit. Now, if any, a few inches. The weather is cyclical and if Global warming is such a factor, why isn't china being devastated ?  They are the biggest polluters in the world. All the green energy cars...have they made disposal of their batteries safe ?  All the mercury in the lame light bulbs that the government is pushing. Is their a disposal set-up for that? So you bury all this in the land fills and instead of saving the groundwater, we now have clean air to breath but no water to drink. Remember the story, " you can't put the buggy in front of the horse". Have they unionized the climate change puppets yet?
Nov 1, 2012 9:45AM
avatar
Wonder if Little man Bloomberg is enforcing the big gulp ban in NYC? 
Oct 31, 2012 5:23PM
avatar
Johnathon, find another cause, join a cult, or help some starving people in  a third wolrd country.  Global warming is just a myth made up by pathetic tree humpers to get attention.
Oct 31, 2012 5:27PM
avatar

"Scientists are unsure whether climate change causes more severe weather events, but does that really matter if the storms that do occur are as devastating as Sandy or worse?"

 

This is the dumbest thing I have read today.

 

PS, please send money to Al Gore. He needs $ for jet fuel.

Nov 2, 2012 2:42PM
avatar
Take the climate change deniers line them up on the beach and let mother nature sort them out.  Maybe they will get the picture when Hurricane Sandy or a bigger one sends a tree at them or their house.You have to be an idiot to not realize the huge amount of heat and carbon and gas being produced is not changing the planet billions of cars  and people and the power and exhaust  and waste generated Come on......Survival and the world left to our children should take priority  over all politics eventually  we are all affected and all humanity will see human induced climate change is real
Nov 2, 2012 12:42PM
avatar
Even Mitt admitted climate change is undeniable, and once he even said that it could be attributed to man-made pollution.

But now that the oily billionaire Koch brothers are backing Mitt, he has to flip-flop on that stance.
Nov 3, 2012 1:46PM
avatar

Cap and trade

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported a carbon-trading pact among Northeastern states that, like his health care bill, served as a potential model for a national version. Romney even said of the plan, “I am convinced it is good for business.”

Of course, in typical Romney style, he's flip-flopped on that stance.



http://www.forbes.co​m/sites/eco-nomics/2​011/06/03/mitt-romne​ys-environmental-rec​ord/
Oct 31, 2012 8:17PM
avatar

CLINTON ACTUALLY SAID TODAY IF THEY HAD LET OBAMA PUSH MORE OF HIS GREEN AGENDA

THAN THESE HURRICANES WOULDN'T BE HAPPENING! HE HAS LOST HIS MIND! EVEN IF GLOBAL

WARMING WAS TRUE WHICH IT IS NOT HOW WOULD HE HAVE DONE THAT? WITH THE CHEVY VOLT?

WINDMILLS? SOLAR PANELS? STIMULUS TO SOYLANDRA AND OTHER GREEN COMPANIES?

I HOPE MOST PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP HOW ARROGANT AND RETARDED THE LIBERAL LEFT REALLY ARE?

WATCH THE PMSNBC COMEDY CHANNEL AND WATCH THESE LEFT WING KOOKS SPEW THEIR HATE OF AMERICA!

Nov 2, 2012 9:16AM
avatar
When you get sucked up into a tornado, just click your heals and keep repeating "There's no climate change, there's no climate change".  SEE YA!!!!
Oct 31, 2012 3:14PM
avatar

The earths climate is ALWAYS changing. What a stupid story - unless you're an ignorant  "man - caused" environmental climate change fool.

Oct 31, 2012 4:21PM
avatar
We never had super storms before the libtards created the global warming myth now did we?
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min
Sponsored by:

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Tuesday session on the defensive after spending the entire day in a steady retreat. The S&P 500 (-0.6%) posted its third consecutive decline, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.9%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.

Equity indices were pressured from the start following some overnight developments that weighed on sentiment. The market tried to overcome the early weakness, but could not stage a sustained rebound, ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.