It may be fading from our memories, but let’s recall the largest Atlantic storm on record. It spanned over 1,100 miles caused widespread damage totalling $20bn in NE USA, parts of Canada and the Carribean. It carried a record 13ft storm surge which hit New York City, flooding streets, tunnels and subway tunnels and cutting power in and around the city. A state of emergency was declared in many states with New Jersey especially hard hit. Experts say the storm acquired extra energy due to unusually warm currents. The typical pattern of the storm was blocked by a ridge of high pressure over Greenland. Scientists also assert that melting sea ice over the Arctic could be responsible. Some are suggesting that we are witnessing the beginning of a ‘new norm’.
In a news conference, President Obama declined to make a direct link between Hurricane Sandy and climate change, saying
“We can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. We do know that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than was predicted even five years ago. We do know that there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in North America, but also around the globe. I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.”