Will Sandy Typify 21st Century Weather?

Hurricane Sandy Impacts Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (DE) by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29th, drawn northwest by two cold fronts into the most populous area of the United States. Coby Beck has a telling wind map of the colossal storm on A Few Things Ill Considered, which was abetted by "a full moon causing the highest high tides of the year." Sandy wreaked widespread devastation, and left over 100 Americans dead. Greg Laden writes that we have learned a lot from killer storms over the decades, and we were more prepared for Sandy than any other. But research shows that cyclones thrive in warm years; on Class M, James Hrynyshyn notes "storms that used to occur every 100 years can be expected between 5 and 33 times as often." With the stakes raised, Sharon Astyk argues that it will be increasingly better to be safe than sorry, writing "as climate change alters the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, we are going to have to change our basic response, which is often to minimize and deny."  Meanwhile, on EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse exposes Mitt Romney's waffling support for federal emergency management. Rosenhouse writes, "it makes no sense to think the federal government has no role in relieving the devastation caused by a major storm that disrupts life in several states."  And Liz Borkowski argues in favor of federal safety nets on The Pump Handle, writing "risk pooling is a central concept in health insurance, and it applies to disasters as well."  Liz concludes, "we’re stronger as a nation when work together as a whole – and sometimes it takes a hurricane to remind us of that."

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