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Ask Marilyn: Sandy and Rising Sea Level
Donald Lilley of Boulder, Colorado, writes:
Marilyn: While your comments about Sandy were informative, they didn't include the most significant link between the storm and global warming. (January 20, 2013) Sandy was the largest storm ever to make landfall in the U.S. in terms of size (1,000 miles in diameter) and total energy. The enormity of both measures was generated by a rise in sea surface temperatures, about 5 degrees F above normal over much of Sandy?s route. Sea level rise over the last century (about a foot) contributed to the storm's damage; by the year 2100, the sea level rise at New York City is forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to be more than three feet. Our little blue ball is heating up; the consequences will be unpleasant.
Thank you, Donald. I did mention the sea level rise, but I considered the warmer-than-average coastal waters to be a weather condition, not a global warming condition.