As hurricane Sandy leaves its devastation in the Northeast, we need to acknowledge the work of the scientists at NOAA who correctly predicted for a week the unusual path and extent of this storm. The storm’s size this far north and its westerly turn were unprecedented.
One storm does not make a trend, but those same scientists and others are telling us that this could be the norm as global warming continues. Warm air holds more moisture with the potential for more intense disturbances.
If we add Sandy to this year’s record shrinkage of the Arctic ice cap and the northward march of plant hardiness zones, we are getting a glimpse of the future. It is time to get serious about the billions of tons of green house gases that we annually emit to the atmosphere.
Rolf Westgard recently taught the class “Global Warming; Real or Myth” for the University of Minnesota Lifelong Learning program.