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Extreme Weather Events XXIV: Manhattan, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXIV: Manhattan, NY, 2012
Blackout after the storm.

Hurricane Sandy: photographed November 2012.

In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, with its most intense damage in the densely populated states of New Jersey and New York.  More than 110 people were killed by the storm and the cost of damage is estimated at over $62 billion, which would make it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane, behind only Hurricane Katrina.

Most climate scientists agree that climate change did not create Hurricane Sandy — tropical storms would occur with or without global warming. But many climate models suggest that such storms will become more intense as the planet warms.  In this case, the possible exacerbating factors included: rising sea levels that heighten the storm surge (certain), warming sea surface temperatures that help to intensify the storm (nearly certain), and warmer-than-usual temperatures over Greenland that created a “block” in the North Atlantic, pushing the hurricane toward the East Coast (less certain).  Typically, scientists say, the jet stream instead carries hurricanes eastward into the Atlantic Ocean.

Sandy became known as “Frankenstorm” in the media because of its size and because it made landfall around Halloween.  The size of Sandy was cause in part by the collision of the tropical storm with an extratropical low pressure system.  It is unknown whether climate change contributed to the likelihood of such a collision.

Extreme Weather Events XVI: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XVI: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XIX: found photo, Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XIX: found photo, Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXI: Far Rockaway, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXI: Far Rockaway, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XVII: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XVII: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXV: Manhattan, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXV: Manhattan, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXII: Coney Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXII: Coney Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XVIII: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XVIII: Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XX: found photo, Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XX: found photo, Staten Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXIII: Coney Island, NY, 2012

Extreme Weather Events XXIII: Coney Island, NY, 2012