On a peninsula within sight of New York City, researchers are studying trees dating as far back as the early 1800s. Rising seas and more powerful storms, both fueled by climate change, could eventually spell their end.
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Centuries-old trees on a peninsula near New York City could provide an important record of past storms. Researchers recently traveled there to sample the trees before they are wiped out by rising seas and powerful storms.
Last Thursday, thousands of people on the Eastern Seaboard felt the earth tremble. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quickly concluded it was not an earthquake, but a military exercise.
Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel is author of the new book “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.” Sobel was one of the first researchers to explain to media and the public what might be brewing, before the storm hit. In the aftermath, he looked closely at the factors driving the storm’s unusual ferocity, and how these played against human weaknesses. The book offers a primer on what drives storm systems, and what we know (and don’t) about their relation to warming climate. Sobel also looks into future weather, urban infrastructure and the politics of global climate change. He recently discussed some of his insights.
Sandy instantly brought a new kind of national media attention to the influence of global warming on weather disasters. After several years of near-silence on climate from our political leaders and the mainstream media, the renewed attention is profoundly welcome.
A mile or so of glacial ice covering much of North America and plowing down from the north once terminated in the New York metropolitan area, at a front stretching roughly from exit 13 on the New Jersey Turnpike (Rahway), on across southern Staten Island, the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, and northeastward through Long Island. But exactly when that ice started… read more