While the unprecedented retreat in summer Arctic sea ice extent was by far the most shocking event of 2012 in terms of climate risk, Hurricane Sandy (and the images of a flooded New York subway system) did more to raise consciousness with the general public. Bloomberg Businessweek summed up the sentiment nicely:
From a scientific perspective, of course, you can’t actually say that Hurricane Sandy “was solely due to global warming stupid”. However,you can say that the finger prints of climate change exist in all our weather patterns now and make extreme weather events more likely. In this vein, the scientist Kevin Trenberth clearly sets out the human influence within Sandy itself in an article for The Scientist here.
Peter Sinclair has also done another excellent short video (8 minutes) taking us through Sandy’s development through the eyes of a number of leading scientists at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media here:
As I have blogged on before, it is unfortunate that any action toward mitigating climate change seems to require death and destruction. But that is what it is.