Monday, January 5, 2015
how global climate change (specifically warming) affects storms
All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be." Although NOAA meteorologist Martin Hoerling attributes Sandy to "little more than the coincidental alignment of a tropical storm with an extratropical storm", Trenberth does agree that the storm was caused by "natural variability" but adds that it was "enhanced by global warming". One factor contributing to the storm's strength was abnormally warm sea surface temperatures offshore the East Coast of the United States—more than 3 °C (5 °F) above normal, to which global warming had contributed 0.6 °C (1 °F). As the temperature of the atmosphere increases, the capacity to hold water increases, leading to stronger storms and higher rainfall amounts.