The Weather on Steroids

The eastern United States is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy. As utility companies continue to restore power and we all pick up the pieces it is becoming increasingly obvious that the weather has become extreme. As one commentator put it, we are now experiencing "weather on steroids."

How often must we cope with yet another "storm of the century"?  According to an article in Business Week, Hurricane Sandy caused at least 90 deaths (at last count) in the United States. Economic losses are projected as high as $50 billion, and 8 million homes lost power. Countless people had to be evacuated. Tens of thousands of flights were grounded, and many businesses and government offices were shut down. Isn't it time that we come to terms with this new climatological reality and begin to prepare ourselves and do our best to mitigate further damage?

As the financial losses from severe weather events continues to grow, the business community is starting to come to terms with climate change. For example, the German reinsurance company, Munich Re, recently published a report entitled, "Severe Weather in North America," which stated that from 1980 through 2011 weather disasters caused losses totaling $1.06 trillion. The report emphasized that these events have "nearly quintupled the number of weather-related loss events in North America for the past three decades."

Clearly, we must conserve resources and increase our efficiency of fuel use so that we can prevent the worsening of the greenhouse effect that is altering our weather patterns.  To learn more about the current climate situation, view this report on NBC's Today Show and this article in Scientific American.

Image credit: U.S. Global Change Research Program -