Sandy The Squirrel? No, Sandy The Hurricane!

I am sure that most people have heard of the monster storm that is pummeling the east coast as we speak. Hurricane Sandy, although classified as only a Category 1, has caused mass destruction along the east coast of the United States. Unlike most east coastal hurricanes that stay out to sea and never really hit the shoreline, Sandy is doing the exact opposite. Hurricane Sandy has also been called a “rare hybrid superstorm”, or even more cleverly nicknamed to match the Halloween spirit, “Frankenstorm.” Hurricane Sandy was created by an Arctic jet stream, formed in the north that morphed with a tropical storm formed in the south. Although New York is feeling the most of Sandy’s “wrath,” the coasts of Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and even North Carolina have experienced high winds and pummeling rains. Hurricane Sandy has not only sparked interests in the United States, but all over the world.

Many comparisons have been made between Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. Well for one, both of these hurricanes have defied odds. Hurricane Sandy is the first hurricane that has traveled upward along the east coast. Most east coastal hurricanes stay farther east, and never directly hit land, but Sandy refuses to do so. In addition, Hurricane Katrina is one of just three hurricanes that have been recorded as a category five. Hurricanes are categorized based on the speed of their winds. A hurricane is called a category five when its winds exceed one hundred fifty-five miles per hour. So if you can imagine how fast you go on the highway, and double that speed, you still won’t have the speed of a category five hurricane.  I know, wow!

The question has been raised, “Is Hurricane Sandy caused by global warming?” In my opinion, asking if global warming caused Hurricane Sandy is similar to asking if hurricanes are caused by global warming. Well, hurricanes form in waters of warmer temperatures, and will occasionally hit land. So if hurricanes are created in warm waters, the water temperatures are continuing to increase due to global warming, and the number of destructive hurricanes is increasing as well, is it safe to assume that global warming causes these storms?

In my opinion, the answer to this common question is yes. Everything adds up, if hurricanes are reliant on warm waters to even exist, and global warming causes the water temperatures rise, as a result, there will be more hurricanes. I predict that over time, parts of Earth that don’t normally experience hurricanes will get them because the waters will have warmed in that area. If people can piece these facts together, they will realize that the frequency of hurricanes will increase. Many people, I feel, refuse to put two-and-two together because they don’t want to face it that there is something serious happening to our planet; our home. No one likes a hurricane, so hopefully these severe storms will send a message to those that don’t feel the importance of putting a stop to global warming that says this issue is serious and they need to do something about it.

Recently in our Environmental Writing class, we Skyped with the climate scientist for NASA, Bruce Wielicki. Dr. Wielicki told us that we don’t know if global warming directly causes Hurricane Sandy, and we are still researching. He predicts however, that in the future, we will see less small hurricanes, but larger, more devastating storms, similar to Hurricane Katrina. No one can put a date on the day when the world will end, or when something serious happens, but we can put a date on when we do something about global warming.


8 responses to “Sandy The Squirrel? No, Sandy The Hurricane!”

  1. vickyz0017 says :

    This was great! One of the things I liked most was your balance in your voice between scientific facts (Sandy is the first hurricane to go up the East coast- and she’s only a Category 1) and more everyday information (New York, Maryland, and New Jersey have been affected). Thanks for answering the question “Is Sandy caused by global warming?- I know that’s an important bite. The second sentence in the last paragraph was a bit confusing, but I loved this post!

    • kaylac0017 says :

      Vicky, thank you so much for the comment! Thanks for telling me that the second sentence of the last paragraph didn’t make sense. I really appreciate it! I made a couple changes to that sentence, and I hope it is a little clearer. Thank you so much for reading my post!

  2. christinel0017 says :

    This was a very interesting post! I really liked the connections you made between Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. Both hurricanes were scary and caused lots of damage. Hurricane Katrina was a level 5 hurricane while Hurricane Sandy hit a location (New York) that does not normally get hurricanes and cost the city an estimated 20 billion dollars. I wonder how many storms it is going to take to get the general public to realize that most of these hurricanes are caused by global warming? Your title was also very creative. Great job!

    • kaylac0017 says :

      Hi Christine! Well first, I would like to thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my post! I really hope that we don’t have to have too many more storms for people to realize that global warming is most likely causing these hurricanes. Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina were to utterly devastating hurricanes, and I honestly hope that these natural disasters will be a motivation to put a stop to global warming. Thanks again for reading my post!

  3. davidc0017 says :

    I think that the reason Sandy is so devastating in comparison to Katrina is because, yes, global warming is happening, but it can be blown out of proportion because it’s in New York. Being on the upper-east side, New York almost never get hurricanes, but in Louisiana hurricanes are not common, but not unheard of. Also when you say, “If people piece these facts”, why do you think that people have not done so yet?

    • kaylac0017 says :

      David, thank so much for reading my post and taking the time to leave a comment! Well, I agree that New York is just not accustomed to things like this happening. It is kinda like if a blizzard hits Louisiana. That would be crazy, and it would be all over the news! I think that the fact that hurricanes are rare in the New York area added on to the media’s coverage. I am not in any way trying to downsize this tragedy, however. Many people lost their homes, and even their loved ones due to this monster storm, so a person would have to be heartless to say that Hurricane Sandy is no big deal. I think that people haven’t pieced together these facts simply because they are in denial. I know that there are people out there that just don’t want to believe that global warming is real, and it is dangerous. I agree with what the climate scientist for NASA, Bruce Wielicki said about how people just dont want to believe that their further generations could be heavily affected by global warming. I think that if we can get it across that if we do something now, these worries about our children, and their children, and etc. will be eliminated. Thanks again for reading my post!

  4. carolinem0017 says :

    It is sad, however I do think that global warming contributed to hurricane sandy. I don’t think that global warming is what caused hurricane Sandy, however I think that if global warming did not exist, than hurricane sandy would have been extensively less severe. In other words, the less severe global warming is on our environment, the less severe our future hurricanes and storms will be

  5. kaylac0017 says :

    Well, after all, this hurricane was only a category 1. Once again, I am in no way trying to downsize the seriousness of this storm. Many people were heavily affected by this storm, so it is hard to imagine the devastation if Sandy had been a Category 5, like Hurricane Katrina. When you said, “The less severe global warming is on our environment, the less severe our future hurricanes and storms will be,” I wanted to know what you meant by “the less severe global warming is on our environment.” I think you are saying that the more we do to put a stop to global warming, the less tragic storms we will have? I just wanted to be clear. If this is what you are saying, I definitely agree. I think that if we can decrease the temperature, the amount of hurricanes and tropical storms will do the same. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave this great comment on my post!!

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