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What can we learn from Hurricane Sandy?

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Jeffrey Nickerson

Nov 3, 2012


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What do the impacts of the Hurricane suggest in terms of future policy, R&D, and citizen behavior?

Tom Mallard

Jan 29, 2013


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Some of what happened proved the computer models were correct but only worst-case scenarios match what's going on thermally. Also, Sandy was a hybrid storm that combined elements from a continental air-mass with the hurricane, it wasn't very compact but had 2.6-times the energy as Katrina total so gave a higher surge than "expected" that beat the 1960 record by quite a bit. So much for theory predicting a new type of storm because our jetstreams are not doing the same thing they did a mere 30-years ago, we have fully changed the winter jetstream paths, a high Arctic jetstream no longer exists as one would observe in the 60's when jetstreams were being mapped. Consider geology, we're now back in the Pliocene Age with 395-ppm CO2 and when sea-level balances out to that within 499-years it will be 70ft/20m higher than today and counting down. Sea-level math. In the previous century sea-level rose 35cm/1ft, the rate-of-rise is an exponential curve so while today at some 3mm/yr over the 100-years it started nearly static, no rise or fall. So, my estimate is now to expect 1m/3.3ft within the next 50-years and 2m/6.7ft within a century for 3m/10ft total higher than today. Sandy had a storm surge of about 12-14ft, sea-level at the time was adding about 6" to mean height on a tide of about 6ft or about 8% of the tidal height was sea-level rise for Sandy. Sea-level rise isn't steady, it can jump up over a foot and then drop again, you get what nature deals. So we can guarantee losing the subways & Staten Island in a short time along with a lot of the eastern shoreline in the area as well, no one expected a Sandy and it happened so are we to assume it won't happen again soon and go back to sleep? What is driving sea-level up? Solar panels or coal? Wind farms or petroleum? Methane from sewage or fracking? The choices made are so ignorant of the reality, blinded by money and power.. Prove you care about your children because they'll see the end of all the major mountain glaciers on the planet to feed a rising sea and this within 50-years. Until this nation takes up alternative, low carbon-footprint fuels we're just playing hurricane roulette with NYC and the last time there were two big storms in that area in consecutive years, a third in a row hit as a cat-1. Thus prudence would expect another big storm next year. Money is just money, power can be used destructively or constructively and the unfortunate truth history will note is currently it's all destructive. Watch this old video from 2007, in 2006 everyone knew spent hurricanes were a hazard, they thought it would take 3-4C of global warming before a Sandy hit, it only took 5-years with about 1C of rise so the atmosphere is reacting far faster than the best climate models from a mere 5-years ago. The vignette on NYC is 65-minutes in: We can't burn the carbon in known reserves if anyone has the slightest desire to keep sea-level from going so high, it's not on a switch, we have to cool Greenland's ice-sheet back down soon or a point is being reached where the core starts to melt below the surface too far so how cold it gets or how much snow falls won't stop the melting. If it does it's 6-8m more ocean. Right now the thousands of small creeks & streams are 10-20% more volume than 15-years ago, the core is melting at an accelerating rates, a really bad sign. Your call.