Climate change, population growth making more people vulnerable to coastal threats
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Though climate change wasn’t mentioned directly during the first panel session at this year’s Glenn Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge, it may have been the invisible 800-pound gorilla in the room.
Looking back at the 2012 season, National Hurricane Center director Dr. Rick Knabb said this year’s tropical storms were all about the water, rather than winds. Rainfall and storm surges from storms like Isaac and Debby had significant impacts while the centers were far offshore and even though their winds weren’t particularly strong, Knabb said.
Those impacts are only expected to increase in coming decades, both because of the steady rise in sea level, as well as the fact that an ever-increasing percentage of the American population is living in coastal areas. Continue reading