A rare event occurred this past weekend when two tropical systems approached the state of Hawaii. Hurricanes happen only occasionally in this part of the world because a fairly constant high pressure system deflects most of the storms. Also, the waters around Hawaii are typically cooler than tropical systems need in order to maintain their strength. Read More
August 11th, 2014
Counting the Cost of Climate Disasters: What do Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan Tell Us About What the U.S. and the Philippines Have in Common?
November 20th, 2013
Angela Anderson, Director of the UCS Climate and Energy program, is in Warsaw for the latest round of international climate talks. In the political wake of typhoon Haiyan, she sent me this urgent dispatch about why developed and developing nations alike must consider the costs of climate impacts. And why she’s joined other activists who are fasting in solidarity with the Philippines’ chief negotiator: Read More
August 22nd, 2013
When I was in fourth grade, I wrote Vice President Al Gore a letter about my passion for saving the planet and I was ecstatic when he wrote back. I believed then, as I do now, that he is a strong voice for issues with an environmental component such as climate change. And, importantly, he has become, to many people, the public face of climate science.
July 11th, 2013
Here on the East Coast, the arrival of hurricane season means something very different in 2013 than ever before. It reminds us: catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy are possible. It warns us: if you’re on the coast, you could face grave risk. And it asks: are you ready? Read More
June 17th, 2013
April 29th, 2013
What better place to talk about the impacts of sea level rise than a coastal city on a barrier island on the Gulf Coast? That’s where I was two weeks ago – in Galveston, Texas, with 80 other Earth scientists at a conference sponsored by the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. Galveston was the site of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, more than a century ago. Read More
November 20th, 2012
Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed and buildings, infrastructure, and lives are beginning to be rebuilt there are still many important conversations to be had. For starters, there may be lingering and long-term public health risks that are no less important now weeks after flooding events. And what about the next big storm? Will we be prepared for it? Natural defense systems, such as properly functioning wetlands and river deltas, should be part of this conversation in addition to built structures like seawalls and levees. Read More
August 27th, 2012
Whenever I see that a tropical storm is threatening to convert into a tropical cyclone – that’s meteorology-speak for hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific or cyclones in the Indian Ocean – I consult my checklist. These are the factors that can nip that tropical storm in the bud or escalate it into a full blown hurricane.