NewEnergyNews: WHAT SANDY SAID ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

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    Friday, November 02, 2012

    WHAT SANDY SAID ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

    3Qs: With Sandy, climate change 'loads the dice'

    Matt Collette, November 1, 2012 (Phys Org)

    [Auroop Ganguly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Northeastern University:] “Though it's difficult to tie a specific storm like Hurricane Sandy to the phenomenon of climate change…It is becoming increasingly harder to ignore the empirical evidence" that human-influenced climate change affects the weather…Climate change loads the dice.”

    [Auroop Ganguly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Northeastern University:] “…[W]e can say with some confidence that heat waves have been intensifying, and will continue to do so at continental to global scales. There have been recent developments in our ability to attribute precipitation extremes to climate change. We are also getting better at attributions of more localized extremes…However, hurricanes are much harder, and one extreme event remains difficult to attribute…[but] it is becoming increasingly harder to ignore the empir-ical evidence.”

    [Auroop Ganguly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Northeastern University:] “Advances in weather and climate sciences, as well as early-warning systems, can help save lives and preserve infrastructures. Community and infrastructural resilience, as well as emergency preparedness, are critical and may prevent hazards from becoming disasters. Measures ranging from effective design strategies to public education and evacuation planning, among others, can help…[M]ounting evidence suggests that inaction may turn out to be costlier than action.”

    [Auroop Ganguly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Northeastern University:] “Attributing extreme weather to climate change rather than natural climate variability requires meticulous analysis of data, typically from both observations and model simulations…The statistical techniques are relatively well developed in certain situations but need further development for other conditions…The meticulous studies leading to delineation of causality or attributions can take a while and would typically require gathering of relatively large volumes of observed data and generation of model simulations. While we are gradually getting better, there is still some way to go…”

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