Is Sandy the Face of Climate Change?
Some politicians think it's a wake-up call; scientists aren't ready to say
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 30, 2012 3:52 PM CDT
This NOAA satellite image taken Oct. 29 shows Hurricane Sandy off the Mid-Atlantic coastline.   (AP Photo/NOAA)

(Newser) – The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy has plenty of people asking: Did climate change do this? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to hint as much in his speech today, saying there was a "new reality" in weather patterns. "We have a 100-year flood every two years now," he noted, according to Politico. Meghan McCain was more blunt: "So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow Republicans?" she asked in a Tweet spotted by the Hill. But the actual science isn't yet definitive.

Scientists have just begun figuring out how to link climate change to individual weather events, and thanks to a lack of data from the pre-satellite era, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it has a "low confidence" when it comes to hurricanes, NPR explains. Research is emerging, however—one report last month showed that higher temperatures correlated strongly to stronger storms. And Brad Plumer at the Washington Post points out that scientists definitely agree that sea levels are rising, making our cities more vulnerable to flooding. "Hurricane Sandy is, unfortunately, a grim reminder of that."

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Showing 3 of 83 comments
lvan
Oct 31, 2012 4:18 PM CDT
I wonder if some idiots gonna try to blame Al Qaeda when hail puts nice golf-ball sized holes into their Lamborghinis.
jsehgal
Oct 31, 2012 3:27 PM CDT
The article reads, in part, "Cuomo seemed to hint ... a "new reality" in weather patterns. "We have a 100-year storm every 2 years now ..." Now, that is as restrained statement about the current weather record as can be made. The climate change deniers are jumping up and down shouting "No! No! No!" Well, we have had a series of warmer decades since the 1980's and this is the record. Climate warming can no longer be denied. In an article today, George Lakoff states quite emphatically that, "Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy -- and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let's say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation." There you have it - SYSTEMIC CAUSATION! http://www.alternet.org/environment/global-warming-systemically-caused-hurricane-sandy He is tying a whole host of this year's American disasters together in there. The global warming is about 0.8 degrees Celsius so far since the record keeping started. "The international consensus is that by 2.0 degrees Celsius, all civilization would be threatened if not destroyed. ... oil already drilled and stored by Exxon Mobil alone. If that oil were burned, the temperature of the earth would pass 2.0 degree Celsius, and those horrific disasters would come to pass." The deniers are mouthing the passages propagated by the fossil fuel industry as they see their wrong headed investments go sour in the face of this imminent danger. Our choice as a civilization is either to go on as usual so the dollars stuck in fossil fuels are left undisturbed and kill almost all the DNA chain of life on this planet or take corrective action by abandoning the fossil fuel addiction and replacing our sources of energy to something more sensible. Deniers will die, but they intend to take the rest of us along for the ride.
saucier111
Oct 31, 2012 12:49 PM CDT
Politicians are playing poker with our future and our lives, the replubicians just went all in on their gobal warming denying.