David Hales, President of Second Nature (a main supporting organization of the AUCPCC*), recently emailed signatories of the AUCPCC with some thoughts on Hurricane Sandy. The bullet points, including the specifics on Sandy, put very bluntly the issues we face:
- Climate change is real; it has consequences, and those consequences are already occurring.
- Observed and documented changes are occurring faster than most past changes in the Earth’s climate.
- These changes are primarily the result of human activities; they cannot be explained without factoring in human activity.
One common argument against global climate change is the lack of evidence or examples that clearly show signs of massive change. Many climate scientists are pointing to Hurricane Sandy as being that evidence. Hurricane Sandy is the largest Atlantic storm on record, and only second in total damages to Hurricane Katrina.
Specifics regarding Sandy:
- Global sea level has risen about 8 inches over the past 130 years. Rises in sea levels along the northeast coast of North America are higher than the average.
- Sandy traversed sea surface temperatures that are significantly above average for this time of year. Temperatures along the storm track were mostly above the threshold for hurricane formation.
A very conservative conclusion: Climate change at least set the stage for Sandy and made the consequences worse.
If you would like to see an end to fossil fuels and become involved in the fight against climate change visit http://gofossilfree.org/!
*Bellevue College is a signatory of the American University and College President’s Climate Commitment (AUCPCC), an organization of higher educational institutions in America that have taken a commitment to environmental awareness and carbon footprint reduction.