New Video: Sandy and the Age of Superstorms

November 28, 2012

New video for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

I interviewed hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and asked him for a blow by blow analysis of the GOES satellite animation of hurricane Sandy.  He expertly complied, and added a number of additional details. I’ll be posting more of his raw interview later.  I also talked to Jason Box, of the Byrd Polar Center, and added in a number of other resources for context, including a revealing anecdote from former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough.

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35 Responses to “New Video: Sandy and the Age of Superstorms”

  1. omnologos Says:

    How can you tell how expertly he complied?

    Also…what will be the exact signs of the Age of Superstorms? IOW what will have to happen for everybody to agree no such an Age occurred?

    This is on the back of the yearly sending around of the link to the article written in the year 2000 in the pages of the Independent in the UK, with the famous claim that snow was a thing of the past around here.

    The precision of that claim made it simple for all to recognizse how wrong it was.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      “How can you tell how expertly he complied?”
      Well, I try to maximize the chances of getting expert opinion, by asking experts from MIT and Ohio State, as opposed to, say, amateurs on the internet. Maybe you can get better info somewhere else, so you are welcome to share.

      • omnologos Says:

        I haven’t suggested anything of the sort.

        It is good journalistic practice to challenge an interviewee, even and especially if one agrees with their general message, in order to make the person raise to the occasion and deliver solid arguments instead of soft replies to cuddly questions.

        I hope that’s what you’ve done (can’t watch the video right now).

    • NevenA Says:

      This is on the back of the yearly sending around of the link to the article written in the year 2000 in the pages of the Independent in the UK, with the famous claim that snow was a thing of the past around here.

      The precision of that claim made it simple for all to recognizse how wrong it was.

      Oh, come on, now. This was one dude who said that and he wasn’t even an expert on the subject. AFAIK he’s not even holding any scientific position right now. He was wrong, and I don’t even blame him. Little folks at the time were foreseeing that disappearing Arctic sea ice would lead to an increase in cold outbreaks and increased snow fall on the NH.

      In time Arctic Amplification will lead to snowless winters in many parts of the NH. This only makes sense. However it’s difficult to say when. But it could already happen in a couple of decades, which geologically speaking, is insanely fast.

      But if you know anything about the subject, I’d love to hear it, omnologos. I’m not falling for the spin, though.

      • omnologos Says:

        NevenA – when somebody like Emanuel speaks our opinion on the topic isn’t relevant. At most we can express what our opinion is, about the strength of Emanuel’s argument.

        • NevenA Says:

          At most we can express what our opinion is, about the strength of Emanuel’s argument.

          Well, I expressed my opinion about your argument, and invoking what one person – not representing any organisation or whatever – said around 10 years ago, is pretty weak.

          BTW, if you want to know why your “the famous claim that snow was a thing of the past” is so weak: it is explained in this Youtube video. Watch it, unless you want to keep spreading debunked memes.


  2. [...] Climate Denial Crock of the Week gives us this new video. Details here. [...]

  3. petersjazz Says:

    Since extreme weather events has raised 5 times since 1980 I think big oil and big coal should pay 80% of the cost associated with the events


  4. Peter,

    I think we need to explore the concept of “systemic causation” rather than trying to parse the typical disclaimer about whether or not “climate change” is a direct or partial cause. In other words, we know climate change is happening, and all weather events are a result of the current conditions.

    Thanks for another excellent video – shared!

    Neil


    • I think that “to explore the concept of” systemic causation” best analyzed dr. Jeff Masters http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html (November 28, 2012)

      The mainly conclusion of his very interesting analysis, it is very, very careful (because only such can be):

      “That’s a pretty rare event, and it is POSSIBLE that climate change, combined with the fact we are in an active hurricane period that began in 1995, CONTRIBUTED to this rare event [2010, 2011, and 2012 - unprecedented level of tropical storm activity in the historical record].”

  5. guylacrosse Says:

    A carbon tax could go towards paying for climate change related disasters and for subsidies to renewal energy and energy efficiency projects.

  6. Jim Green Says:

    The largest insurance and re-insurance companies in the world are freaking out and asking governments to address the issue…..and these people are not prone to panic and hyperbole. Wonder if any govs. will listen?

  7. Peter Mizla Says:

    its going to cripple us and keep coming——an understatement —–
    and what the future will bring for our folly will be something humans have never faced.

    • rayduray Says:

      Hi Peter,

      Re: “what the future will bring for our folly will be something humans have never faced.”

      We’ve faced other crises. Humanity passed through a fascinating if little understood crisis about 70,000 years ago.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_bottleneck

      We may fret a lot these days, but we’re not anywhere nearly as much at risk for species extinction today as we were in the past.

      Today, the human population increased by 212,000 persons, give or take a few thousand. (This is about 78 million annually as of 2008.) We’re not at any serious risk of the human population going down dramatically for the foreseeable future.

      • petersjazz Says:

        Ok, so you think the important thing is if humans can survive or not. In my mind the question is if its sound to continue warming earth. It simply cost more to continue on current track then to change direction.

        • rayduray Says:

          Peter,

          Re: “Ok, so you think the important thing is if humans can survive or not. ”

          Oh, no. Not me. I’m in the camp with King Louis XIV: “Apres moi, le deluge.” is good enough for me. I was wise enough not to hatch a bunch of rug rats I’d have to care about. So when I’m gone, I’m gone.

          Re: “In my mind the question is if its sound to continue warming earth.:

          Righto! Let’s extinguish the Sun and then see what we have to worry about, eh?

  8. omnologos Says:

    This is worse than I thought.

    Not even the New York Times fell for the “unprecedented” claim, and it should be a matter of primary school understanding that there is a reason why the costliest hurricanes are recent hurricanes, and that reason is not hurricane power. Add to that the obvious danger in doing science on-the-fly and provide statements about the causes of this or the causes of that without having had the time to analyze anything. And so on and so forth.

    The information content of the video is close to zero, apart from for historical studies in the XXIII century.


  9. [...] New video for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. I interviewed hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and asked him for a blow by blow analysis of the GOES satellite animation of hurri…  [...]


  10. Right, because there weren’t any coastal cities until the last twenty years, and there’s no possible way to adjust damages for constant dollars to eliminate biases when making those sorts of judgments.

    Nor is it even remotely possible that warmer water and weaker jet streams mean the dice are loaded when it comes to the likelihood of powerful storms socking the east coast.

    Maurizio is the guy in the car flying off the cliff lecturing the others in the car on the way to certain doom about the pitfalls of making judgments about how the driver turned the wheel.

    • omnologos Says:

      Hello Sebastian…is that you? Have you forgotten your usual aulic style?

      Or perhaps adulthood has finally caught up. Good.

      As per adjustments etc it’s exactly after doing those that no positive trend whatsoever is found in the ‘costs’ data.


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