November 3, 2012

Experts Warn of Superstorm Era

(Photo: By Mark Lennihan, AP)
Superstorm Sandy was no freak, but rather an example of how Americans will struggle to survive killer weather.

They're telling us we shouldn't be surprised that this 900-mile-wide monster marched up the East Coast this week paralyzing cities and claiming scores of lives. 

"It's a foretaste of things to come," Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer told CNN. "Bigger storms and higher sea levels" will pile on to create a "growing threat" in the coming decades.

Princeton's Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences, recently modeled the effect of climate change on storm surges for the New York area.

In a paper published by Nature in February, he and three colleagues concluded that the "storm of the century" would become the storm of "every twenty years or less."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agrees.

"After what happened, what has been happening in the last few years, I don't think anyone can sit back anymore and say 'Well, I'm shocked at that weather pattern,' " Cuomo said Tuesday.

The conclusion of Oppenheimer and his colleagues is that storms will become larger and more powerful.

"Climate change will probably increase storm intensity and size simultaneously, resulting in a significant intensification of storm surges," they wrote. Sandy's diameter measured much larger than most storms.


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