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Ask Marilyn: More on Sandy and Climate Change

Greg Wade of San Clemente, California, writes:

Marilyn: I read your answer to a question where you stated that climate change had indeed made Hurricane Sandy more severe because of the rise in ocean level. (January 20, 2013) I searched this and found a graph that showed Atlantic City's mean sea level had indeed risen. The graph showed a straight line 4 ml./yr. rise with a 95 percent confidence +/- 0.18 from 1911 to 2006. If human activity were contributing to the rise, wouldn't the graph have a different shape than a straight line?

Marilyn responds:


First, I didn't write that "...climate change had indeed made Hurricane Sandy more severe because of the rise in ocean level." All I wrote was, "One way global warming may have contributed..." That's a big difference! Regardless, my statement wasn't about the role of human activity in global warming. Instead, it followed a statement about the storm hitting a vulnerable area and referred to the severity of damage, not the severity of the storm itself.


 
 
 
 
 

 

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