Hurricane Sandy, Oklahoma Tornadoes, Climate Change and Governor Christie

hurricane sandyThings have been, shall we say, interesting, for folks in New Jersey who like to dissect weather trends. Snow and ice storms in October. Cold temperatures when it used to be hot and vice versa. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. What’s going on? Climate change?

Not according to Governor Chris Christie who recently opined (among other things) that there was no proof climate change had anything to do with Hurricane Sandy.

The insurance industry however, is definitely worried about sea level rise caused by climate change and how that will continue to amplify the destructive effects of such storms.

That’s a distinction worth noting this week when many are asking if the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes were triggered by climate change. Rather, scientists say, tornadoes will occur anyway, but are now operating in an changed environment — warmer overall temperatures, which exacerbate their intensity. In the same way, according to scientists, Hurricane Sandy’s inherent winds and sea surge were perhaps of greater intensity due to glacial melt, with has been traced to climate change.

New Jersey’s Climate Central, an independent scientific research and information organization, notes that what was learned during and after Sandy, as it directly relates to that high sea storm surge, merits serious consideration for future preparedness.

The New Jersey Climate Adaption Alliance at the Rutgers School of Environmental Studies, notes that “A changing climate and rising sea levels will have a devastating impact on New Jersey’s economy, the health of our residents, the State’s natural resources, and the extensive infrastructure system that delivers transportation services, energy and clean water to millions of New Jerseyans.”

What do you think?

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  1. Perhaps if climate change killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, continued global warming might result in a new Republican party in the near future. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  2. Herb, I’ll look forward to Christie offering qualified opinions on politics and and I’ll let scientists offer qualified opinions on science. Like you herb, I’ll only occasionally ask an accountant about dentistry, or ask a dentist about accounting, and that would only be at a really slow cocktail party.

  3. It’s interesting how some of the congressmen and a senator from Oklahoma who voted against Sandy relief say that disaster relief for tornado damage to their state is “different”. Luckily for them, New York and New Jersey people are more compassionate than they are.

  4. @Howard,
    At first I was outraged when I heard that the Senator did not vote for Sandy and said that this “was different.” And he is right. The Sandy relief fund was filled with pork like “New roofs in Washington, DC unrelated to Sandy damage.” And “New roads in the virgin islands.” When someone votes “No”, they are hoping that the bill changes to accommodate them. It’s politics at it’s worse.
    Example: As a senator, I write a bill stating that children in poor areas will receive free lunches. Then another senator adds “Helicopter for private use.” Now whoever votes against giving out Helicopters for private use is demonized for voting against free lunches for poor children.

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