Millions of people throughout the Caribbean and in Florida were devastated by Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria crushed Puerto Rico. Hurricane Harvey killed scores of people in Texas and will cost a fifth of a trillion dollars.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued its “Annual Climate Statement” today in Geneva. There was nothing particularly revelatory: We’re still looking at a looming catastrophe. In fact, for millions, the catastrophe has already occurred. Ask the folks in the Philippines, or California, or Britain, or Australia. Yes, but what about all the cold weather in the Eastern half of the US this year you ask. Well, it’s climate change too: the polar vortex has been weakened by the melting of Arctic ice, allowing cold air to migrate south. (Sorry, denialists.) Continue reading
According to NOAA: “Colder temperatures to the north and warmer temperatures to the south create winds that generally blow from west to east around the northern hemisphere. This atmospheric river of strong winds can vary from a straight west-to-east pattern, to a more wavy pattern. Continue reading
You can find scores of dramatic graphics from this monster storm that’s just blasted a path up from the Caribbean, come ashore at the most densely populated portion of the United States, and is now powering through Pennsylvania. You can judge the immensity of the storm from satellite images or see how it has done billions of dollars of damage. Scores of people will have died as a result of Sandy when we’re all done. You don’t need me to tell you that the Caribbean and the East Coast have just been well and truly hammered. Continue reading