An excerpt from an article I wrote for OnIslam.net
….Last week, Hurricane Sandy killed more than 60 people as it cut through the Caribbean and brought heavy rain and strong winds to Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas. The storm is now expected to move into Canada and to transition into a winter cyclone.
Now that the ordeal is over for America, the question on most people’s lips is whether the storm was caused by climate change. Most scientists agree that the hurricane itself can’t be attributed to climate change, but they state that global warming added to the moisture in the atmosphere and so increased the hurricane’s severity and longevity. Meteorologist Angela Fritz reported that sea surface temperatures off the Mid-Atlantic coast were near a record high in September and warm waters, as I explained above, are a key factor in the formation of hurricanes and their strength.
Speaking to The Guardian, meteorologist Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said: “I have no equivocation in saying that all heavy rainfall events, including this one, have an element of climate change in them, and the level of that contribution will increase in the future.”
So what do we learn from this? We need to understand our own extreme real vulnerability when it comes to extreme weather. We aren’t very good at controlling the nature. We are generally ill-equipped to live happy and productive lives when faced with floods, hurricanes and other tropical storms. With this in mind, we need to do our best to avoid contributing to global warming which is in turn contributing to more severe extreme weather.
Climate change is real and it is going to make life harder for millions of people across the planet. They will face hurricanes boosted by global warming, floods due to rising sea levels as well as desertification and drought. We may not be able to control nature, but we need to learn to control the ways we contribute to global warming. That, at least, is in our hands.
:: For the full article see OnIslam.net
: Hurricane Sandy Flooding East Village 2012 (Photo credit: david_shankbone)