Science Wednesday – Storms on Steroids

Sandy was a real wench and her impact is still very much being felt along the Eastern Seaboard. One thing that has been brought up a few times is what impact Global Warming  or Climate Change played in Sandy’s creation or strength.

Now, I’m a big lefty, but I also tend to be a little cautious when drawing straight lines between a specific weather event and Climate Change.  Big storms have happened for as long as there has been weather. The first hurricane recorded along the East Coast was back in 1502!

So, with that in mind I was interested to see this little clip about how Global Warming is like… get ready for it… steroids in baseball.

So, did Climate Change cause Sandy? Probably not. Did it contribute to it?  Probably.

How much?  Maybe 10%, according to this snippet:

But, he added, human-induced global warming has been raising the overall temperature of the surface ocean, by about one degree Fahrenheit since the 1970s. So global warming very likely contributed a notable fraction of the energy on which the storm thrived — perhaps as much as 10 percent, he said.

Of course, these storms do impact bonefishing and bonefish and the places they live, the people who live there, the people who depend on those fisheries. Hurricanes have been known to kill mangroves and reefs. Increasing intensity, maybe even frequency… well… could be a bit rougher ride in the years to come.

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  1. Through the following years…look for more and more bones making an appearance in San Diego Bay as well as along the shores of Nova Scotia. I’m looking forward to the day where I can drive 3 mins from my house to Lake Ontario and scan the beaches for bones.

    The last 10 years or so…our summers have been hotter than ever and our winters have had more rain than snow!!!…JUST SAYIN!!!


  2. It’s not just about water temperature, but about the change in the latitudinal gradient in temperature, which effects winds (like the jet stream), currents (like the Gulf Stream), which in turn influence the weather. Expect more weather extremes, for longer episodes of weather types (e.g., drought), etc. In fact, much of this is already occurring.

  3. Good points Aaron.

    In just a few hundred years we could likely fish for bonefish right in SF Bay! Of course, it is likely all the salmon and steelhead would be dead by then. (Just a reminder, there actually was a bonefish caught in SF Bay in about 1914)

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