Bigger storms coming
Kirby 13 (David Kirby- staff writer for Takepart.com June 11th 2013
Climate change is not a particularly hot topic among residents of Midland Beach, a seaside enclave of middle-class families in New York’s politically conservative Staten Island.¶ Cunsolo, a 52-year-old retired carpenter, needs no convincing that human-caused climate change contributed to the lethal fury of Sandy. “Any person who really thinks about it honestly has to know the proof is in the pudding,” he says. “Katrina was the first big eye-opener.”¶ If Katrina was a once-in-a-lifetime storm, Cunsolo asks, “Then how do you explain Sandy? Something’s going on to get these storms to this magnitude. Do we all believe in it yet? Publicly, people aren’t talking about reducing emissions…but they know it’s a big issue that we need to start talking about.”¶ Experts and scientists overwhelmingly agree.¶ “I don’t think anybody would try to correlate one event to global warming,” says Tim Barnett, a research marine physicist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. “But it does make things worse. “With Katrina, Gulf temperatures were the highest on record,” he notes. “That’s what gave Katrina its kick.” Barnett also estimates that half of Sandy’s force can be attributed to global warming.¶ The probability of bigger storms, meanwhile, “shifted in one direction: the 100-year storm is now a 20-year storm. There’s an increasing probability it will happen again.”¶ On the morning of October 29, 2012, Cunsolo, his wife Karen, his sister, two sons, daughter, and 18-month-old grandson were at home. And though Sandy loomed on the southern horizon amid talk of evacuations, they weren’t particularly concerned.¶ In one report, 420 of 690 households surveyed had visible mold; remediation attempts failed in more than a third.¶ ***¶ It’s worth noting that while rising global temperatures warm the oceans, giving rise to more extreme weather events, they also cause the ocean levels themselves to rise, which adds to the destructive effects of Hurricane Sandy and other storms.¶ In April, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report stating that, “Sea level is rising, and at an accelerating rate, especially along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.”¶ Average levels rose about eight inches from 1880 to 2009, with the rate increasing from 1993 to 2008, at 65 to 90 percent above 20th-century averages.¶ “Global warming is the primary cause of current sea level rise,” the UCS warns. “Human activities, such as burning coal and oil and cutting down tropical forests, have increased atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases and caused the planet to warm by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.”¶ Global warming, of course, unleashes far more than superstorms and coastal devastation. The grueling impact of climate change has been well documented, and it will only get worse. Heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, rainstorms and blizzards seem to grow more severe each year.¶ The debate that hasn’t yet hit the shores of Staten Island continues to rage in the political and scientific community. Despite the evidence, a very small minority of scientists and their political allies argue that climate change is not caused by human activity.
Super-hurricanes hit the East Coast, kills their economiesMPR 13
(minnesota public radio) “Severe hurricanes may become more common along the East Coast”
9:45 AM, March 21, 2013 references Aslak Grinsted, a climatologist at Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute (he did the the study) http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/03/21/daily-circuit-climate-cast
Superstorm Sandy cost billions of dollars, just in lost economic activity, when it hit the East Coast. It knocked out power to more than 8 million homes. So it's alarming to consider the conclusion of a Danish researcher: that big storms may strike the eastern United States more and more in coming years. On Thursday's Climate Cast, Kerri Miller and MPR News' Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner talked about those findings and the outlook for the coming tornado season. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation: ¶ Kerri Miller: There's interesting research out of Copenhagen that says our warming climate may affect the number of hurricanes we have and the intensity of them. ¶ Paul Huttner: The bigger part of the story is the intensity. This is another little piece in the climate puzzle that we start to piece together. I think this is an important paper. The oceans are a little underemphasized, perhaps, as a part of climate change. We always talk about a warmer atmosphere; the oceans are warming as well, and they're probably the biggest factor in determining the intensity of hurricanes, specifically the temperature of the oceans. This study went through 90 years of East Coast storm surge records. When you compare them with global temperatures, that turns out to be the best predictor of hurricane activity. What the study is saying is that Katrina-like storms will become much more frequent, maybe two to seven times more frequent. Instead of every 25 years, every five years we could see a Katrina-sized storm. That could be significant as we go forward. ¶ Miller: When we talk about Katrina, let's remember it was the way it built and spread, widened in the days before it hit New Orleans, and then the intensity with which it hit that city. ¶ Huttner: Even before that, you may remember, it flared right before it hit the south part of Miami, ripped through there, across the gulf, flared again, a much larger storm by then. One of the things I've noticed, and we saw this with Sandy, it's not just that the oceans are getting warmer, they're getting warmer at higher latitudes. That feeds storms, that keeps storms stronger as they move out of the tropics and into places like New York City and New Jersey. If we keep seeing these ocean temperatures rise, we may have more situations like a Hurricane Sandy that we saw last fall. ¶ Miller: Is this because the oceans are trapping carbon that's being emitted through greenhouse gases? ¶ Huttner: That could be part of it, but the bigger picture is that the oceans store heat. The oceans heat and cool more slowly than the atmosphere, so once you get a very hot summer, you get a hotter ocean. It takes a much longer time for that heat to dissipate than it does in the atmosphere. That keeps the oceans warmer in the fall, potentially warmer in the late summer, and that can fuel more intense hurricanes.
East Coast economies keyPethokoukis, ’12. “The Sandy Stimulus? No, actually the hurricane will hurt the fragile U.S. economy” by James Pethonkoukis, writer for AEIdeas. October 30, 2012. <http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/10/the-sandy-stimulus-no-actually-the-hurricane-will-hurt-the-fragile-u-s-economy/>
The Sandy Stimulus? No, actually the hurricane will hurt the fragile U.S. economy¶ James Pethokoukis | October 30, 2012, 11:24 am¶ Economic consultancy IHS Global Insight dismisses the idea that Hurricane Sandy is just the Keynesian stimulus the American economy needs:¶ The region affected by Hurricane Sandy will be similar to the one affected by Hurricane Irene in 2011 – a region stretching across 15 states on the East Coast with a gross regional product of around $3 trillion. Assuming the total economic losses are around $30 billion to $50 billion that would represent losses equivalent to 1.0% to 1.7% of gross regional product (GRP) for the states affected.¶ This would be larger than the damages from Hurricane Irene which represented about 0.5% of GRP for the 13 most states affected, but it would be much less than Hurricane Katrina, which caused around $120 billion in damages, amounting to 9.6% of gross regional product for the states most impacted – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.¶ On a national scale, $30 billion to $50 billion in economics losses would represent about 0.2% to 0.3% of nominal GDP. Part of these losses will eventually be made up by reconstruction activity, but it would be naïve to put forward the view that a hurricane is in some sense a stimulus for the economy. There’s no guarantee that reconstruction activity will be extra activity, on top of what would otherwise have occurred, rather than a substitute for that activity.¶ In the private sector, insurance will cover some of the reconstruction costs, but not all. Other reconstruction may take place at the expense of costs pared elsewhere, or simply may not be done at all. And even the reconstruction covered by insurance is not a “free lunch”, since it comes out of insurers’ profits and perhaps could lead to higher insurance premiums.¶ The effect on growth for the fourth quarter will not be catastrophic but might still be noticeable, especially in an economy with little momentum anyway. Suppose that the affected regions lose just 25% of their overall output for two days that is not recoverable later. That would knock about $25 billion annualized ($6 billion actual) off GDP, and could take as much as 0.6 percentage points off annualized fourth-quarter real GDP growth rate.¶ Many of my readers are well aware of the Broken Windows Fallacy, so need to get into here. But let me add this: The U.S. economy is hovering either at or just above stall speed. The Recession Red Zone. I would not be so quick to dismiss Sandy as a mere economic bump in the road, especially with the fiscal cliff fast approaching.¶
These were just some of the cards. Just go check the Cuba 'Canes aff from last year. It has to do with hurricane prevention, so im sure you could find more cards there about superstorms, etc.