It has been over a month since Hurricane Sandy made landfall but there are still thousands of people across the east coast suffering from its aftermath. Throughout the month of December, Clean Currents is working to support the American Red Cross as they continue to provide shelter, meals, medical care, and other essentials for those displaced by the storm.
As part of this effort, we are donating $10 for every household that makes the switch to Clean Currents wind power during the month of December.
Is It Climate Change?
Hurricane Sandy reminded us how much our climate is being affected by human activity. More and more scientific studies are showing a link between raising sea-surface temperatures due to climate change, melting Arctic sea-ice, and the increased intensity of storms. When Hurricane Sandy formed in the western Atlantic Ocean, sea-surface temperatures were up to 5 degrees higher than average during that time of year.
In an interview with the New York Times, senior climate scientist, Kevin Trenberth said we cannot definitely link this specific instance with climate change but "human-induced global warming has been raising the overall temperature of the ocean's surface by about one degree Fahrenheit since the 1970s. So global warming very likely contributed a notable fraction of the energy on which the storm thrived."
Rising Tides Lift All Boats (and more)
Another contributing factor to Sandy's widespread devastation was sea level rise--the sea level on the Atlantic coast of the United States has risen 8 inches over the past century. Many top climate scientists including Kerry Emmanuel have shown extremely strong correlation between rising sea levels and human induced climate change.
Climate scientists predict that we should expect sea levels to rise as much as 1 to 3 feet in the next century, making major cities like New York City and Washington, DC much more vulnerable to storms on the Atlantic seaboard. "The likely effect is that coastal flooding on a scale that once happened only once or twice per century -- the scale of Sandy, in other words -- will become much more commonplace within the coming decades" stated Emmanuel.
So, What are We Gonna Do About it?
In a highly publicized Op-Ed, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on elected officials to take immediate action to address climate change. He stated that whether or not extreme weather events are a result of the changing climate, the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy should cause us all to prepare for the possibility that it might be.
The good news is Clean Currents makes it easy for businesses and individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that play a key role in inducing climate change through switching to clean, renewable power sources. But during times of crisis, we recognize that reducing greenhouse gases is not enough to help the people who are currently being affected.
So, we hope to address both the long and short term challenges during the month of December by:
Please help us reach our goal by switching your home to wind power and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do the same.
Climate Change & Super Storm Sandy - President Gary Skulnik