Hurricane Sandy

Friday, November 9, 2012

As the Northeast Climate Consortium, we extend our deepest sympathy and concern to those across the United States that were negatively impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Across the region serviced by the Northeast Climate Science Center, this extreme weather event has uprooted communities, disrupted livelihoods, and left death and destruction in its wake.  Hurricane Sandy, with its impact stretching across the northeast, midwest, and beyond, is exactly the type of incident for which the NECSC was established. As you will see below, some NECSC Consortium scientists have already reacted to what is unfolding, and many have been conducting research that will be helpful in the weeks and months to come, as people manage the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as well as look to prepare and increase resilience for the next extreme event.

NECSC Consortium member and director of the Climate Systems Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Professor Raymond Bradley said in an interview that with higher sea-surface temperatures, which are caused by man-made global warming, “when storms develop, when they do hit the coast they are going to be bigger and I think that’s a fair statement that most people could sign onto.”
Read more in The Vancouver Sun article.

Another NECSC Consortium member and research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University Radley Horton has been speaking about the impacts of Hurrricane Sandy on New York City's infrastructure and the likely increase in such extreme events in the future. "Given the higher sea levels in the future, even if storms remain exactly the same, we're going to get more frequent flooding events, maybe three times as many coastal flood events by the end of the century, just by virtue of having average sea levels be higher," he said in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air.

Other interviews with Dr. Radley Horton:
NPR's Science Friday
NPR's Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross
Canadian Broadcasting Company
NYT, Protecting the City, Before Next Time

Sandy leaves NYC subway system, infrastructure licking its wounds
Sandy's surge should be a lesson to big city infrastructure
Radley Horton discusses the affect of coastal flooding on NYC's aging transit system.

Northeast CSC Investigator Robert Theiler at Woods Hole wrote this Op-ed: What's next after Superstorm Sandy?

USGS blogs: Shifting Sands: Sandy's lesson in coastal geology

Although most scientists agree that no single extreme event can be attributed to climate change, here a Scientific American editor argues that climate change undoubtedly made the storm bigger

For more on the political and future impacts of Hurricane Sandy, take a look at this article from Nature.