Climate patterns must be viewed holistically, scientifically
As Hurricane Sandy, dubbed superstorm and Frankenstorm for its size and impact, batters the East Coast with wind and rain, some may wonder why the storm is being felt in the northern U.S. rather than the south, in hurricanes usual homes.
A logical conclusion to draw is to blame it on human-accelerated climate change.
Yet, according to NPR, the link that scientists are able to make between hurricanes and global climate change is weak, unlike links between human action, climate change and other patterns such as temperature rise.
Hurricanes are so variable that detected increases in contemporary storminess may not be a reliable indicator of human-induced climate change, and in the case of large storms, it is too difficult to distinguish
natural variables from ones caused by humans, according to a scientific paper cited by the New York Times.
More research and time-related evidence is needed to establish the connection between a specific storm and global climate change, yet general weather patterns that have been proven to correlate to storm frequency show the link is a plausible one.
Though the severity and location of this storm cannot necessarily be attributed to human-linked climate change, other measurable factors have been scientifically proven to link climate and weather patterns with human actions and these should not be forgotten when considering environmental concerns and effects on everyday lives, especially for future generations.
According to OnEarth Magazine, recent studies have shown that global sea levels have risen 8 inches since 1900, and are expected to rise more by the end of the century up to 24 inches in some places. CNN reported that the average sea level rise is 3 millimeters a year, though the actual amount varies by location. Temperatures are expected to rise 5.4 degrees to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, contributing increasingly to melting polar ice caps, according to Climate Central.
Though the direct link between climate change and specific hurricanes is weak, Washington Post reporter Brad Plumer pointed out an important correlation with rising water levels.
While storm surges are affected by a variety of factors, higher sea levels can help magnify those surges and exacerbate flooding, he wrote.
The same goes for rising temperatures and rising Earth temperatures have been correlated to surges in storm frequency, according to National Geographic.
These factors together make up climate and must be viewed as a whole when considering the impact of human actions on accelerated climate change.
Though its easy to point to Frankenstorm Sandy and attribute its wrath on the Northeast to climate change, it is important to step back and consider the science behind these claims. While trends point toward a warming planet that is likely to produce more of these storms, one storm cannot be pinned as a result.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Not Seeing a Chiropractor Could Cost You
- Steampunk Steamrolls Into Living Rooms Nationwide
- Modern-Day Party Do's and Don'ts
- Taking Care of Your Child's Eyes in Today's Digitally...
- Will the Movie Studio be the Next Heavy Hitter?
- Survey Shows Americans' Views on Dental Hygiene Differ by...
- Fire Away: How to Prepare For Hunting Season
- Novel Program Brings Hope to African Nation
- What Health Care Really Costs
- Millennials Cited for Rise in ETF Popularity
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- 18-25 Years Old? EARN $80 IN 90 MINUTES for Participating in Research Study
- truth® CELEBRATES SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY MOVE TO TOBACCO-FREE
- vitaminwater® Announces Project Hustle Finalists
- Supermodel Jaslene Gonzalez to Speak at Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority 25th Anniversary Sisterhood Retreat
- LEMELSON-MIT ANNOUNCES NATIONAL COLLEGIATE STUDENT PRIZE COMPETITION WINNERS