Posted on April 21, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy hitting the Northeast Coast. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Powerful storm shook the Earth’s crust in a wave of vibrations felt by sensitive land-based instruments
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Scientists using an array of portable land-based seismometers to study how the atmosphere, oceans and solid Earth interact say they were able to detect small seismic waves — microseisms — generated by superstorm Sandy late last year.
When Sandy turned and took aim at New York City and Long Island last October, ocean waves hitting each other and crashing ashore rattled the seafloor and much of the United States, according to University of Utah researchers, who presented their findings last week during the Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting.
The seismometers that detected the storm’s vibrations are part the Earthscope research project that started in California in 2004 and has been leap-frogging eastward to help gain a greater understanding of the Earth’s crust and mantle, similar to how X-rays are used to make CT scans of the human body. To do it accurately, scientists must understand all sources of seismic waves. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, Science | Tagged: University of Utah, Seismology, Hurricane Sandy, superstorm Sandy, Earthscope | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 30, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Superstorm Sandy may have been a turning point in public perception
February temperatures were above normal almost everywhere across the mid-latitudes, but colder than average in the polar regions, compared to the 1951-1980 average. Via NASA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — While some Americans may still not be convinced that greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the planet, there does appear to be an emerging consensus that the country should prepare for the potential impacts of a changing climate.
Superstorm Sandy may have been a turning point, as images of flooding in downtown Manhattan and shoreline devastation in New Jersey dominated the airwaves for a few days. Americans may have seen Sandy as a sign of things to come, according to a new survey by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Center for Ocean Solutions. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate adaptation, climate change, Current sea level rise, global warming, Stanford University, superstorm Sandy | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the coast. Satellite image courtesy NOAA.
Calculating impacts to sediment transport critical to restoration efforts
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Along with the devastation and human suffering it caused, Hurricane Sandy may have raised awareness about the importance of natural coastal defenses to a whole new level. With climate models predicting significant sea level rise and increased precipitation, those natural barriers may become the first — and most important — line of protection against growing storm surges and coastal inundation.
In the wake of Sandy, a rapid response science team from the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics will help map the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the beach and barrier systems off the south shore of Long Island.
The team will collaborate this month with researchers from Stony Brook University, Adelphi University, the City University of New York and other institutions from the New York metro area to assess the health of the offshore barrier system that protects the New York Harbor and southwestern Long Island region against damage from future storms. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Hurricanes | Tagged: barrier islands, Hurricane Sandy, Long Island, New Jersey, New York City, Sandy restoration, superstorm Sandy | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast. Satellite image courtesy NOAA.
Record-breaking storm spurs more public awareness about the potential for more frequent extreme weather events
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With several all-time weather records shattered and early estimates that Hurricane Sandy may cost the U.S. economy some $20 to $25 billion, it’s clear that the storm lived up to its billing. Along with the cleanup, there’s also a raging debate about whether global warming was a factor in the storm’s development and path.
On the one side, environmental activists seeking to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gases have jumped on the so-called super storm as an opportunity to tout their cause. On the other side, global warming deniers and others have pulled out timeworn statistics about past hurricanes that supposedly were equally as strong.
The arguments at the extreme sides of the spectrum don’t ring true. Of course, there is no way to scientifically prove that increases in air and ocean temps directly contributed to this storm. There’s still so much natural variability in nature that you just can’t establish a causal link. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, climate change, Environmental Defense Fund, extreme weather, global weather, Hurricane Sandy, sea level rise, superstorm Sandy, Tropical cyclone | 1 Comment »