“It was not a good year for people, weather and climate. The winter was strangely warm in many places and the summer ridiculously hot,” Adam Frank wrote Sunday for NPR.
“As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or even extraordinary drought many folks naturally wondered, ‘Is this climate change?’ Then along came a presidential election in which the words ‘climate change’ disappeared from the dialogue.
“Now, just a week or so before voting day, the convergence of westbound Hurricane Sandy with a eastbound cold front is creating a massive storm, a Frankenstorm even, that is threatening millions of Americans. Weird weather is making yet another appearance in our lives and once again we ask, ‘Is this climate change?’
“. . . One thing that does seem clear is that warmer oceans (a la global warming) mean more evaporation, and that likely leads to storms with more and more dangerous rainfall of the kind we saw with Hurricane Irene last year. In addition, a paper published just last month, used records of storm surges going back to 1923 as a measure of hurricane activity. A strong correlation between warm years and strong hurricanes was seen. Thus if you warm the planet, you can expect more dangerous storms. . . .”
Storm Cuts Power in Two Newsrooms
“Hurricane Sandy battered the mid-Atlantic region on Monday, its powerful gusts and storm surges causing once-in-a-generation flooding in coastal communities, knocking down trees and power lines, leaving about two million people — including a large swath of Manhattan — in the rain-soaked dark,” James Barron wrote for the New York Times.
“At least seven deaths in the New York region were tied to the storm.”