Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy makes climate change hard to ignore

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

It's a monster, its damage-causing forces unprecedented for the East Coast, and it'll cost an estimated $6 billion. And according to experts, it's only the beginning.

Sandy approaching the coast
  • Sandy approaching the coast

As Hurricane Sandy approached the coast, The New Yorker published the findings of a study conducted by reinsurance firm Munich Re that argues climate change could be the reason for an increase in weather-related disasters.

According to the press release that accompanied the report, “Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America.” The number of what Munich Re refers to as “weather-related loss events,” and what the rest of us would probably call weather-related disasters, has quintupled over the last three decades. While many factors have contributed to this trend, including an increase in the number of people living in flood-prone areas, the report identified global warming as one of the major culprits: “Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity.”

If only our politicians could catch up.

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