Oct 30, 2012 8:22 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Hurricane Sandy has some speculating on climate change

TUCSON - While the focus has been on Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, many are speculating about whether this means there could be more "superstorms" in our future.

It's no surprise that this so-called superstorm has been getting a lot of attention but the question now is: what can be learned from this massive storm?

As Hurricane Sandy pummeled the east coast, some like Solana Temple, a student at Juliard in New York and Tucson native, watched in awe.

"We were watching the storm come approach us and we watched how some of New Jersey lost power which was an amazing sight," Temple told News 4 Tucson.

The sheer power and punch the storm packed created a buzz about Hurricane Sandy.

"My concern was the windows were going to break because the winds were up to 80 miles per hour," Tempe said.
Sandy's unusual size and force has many speculating that this might be a sign of major climate change.

"After what has been happening over the past few years, I don't think anyone can sit back anymore and say ‘Well, I'm shocked by that weather pattern," said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. "There is no weather pattern that can shock me at this point."

However, tropical storm expert Elizabeth Ritchie warns not to read too much into this one incident.

"There have been other extreme events around the world...they do happen and they're not an indicator of climate change necessarily," Ritchie told News 4 Tucson. "[It's] just a truly tragic event that happens occasionally."

However, the hurricane is an event that has a silver lining for climatologists. Ritchie said Sandy has created an unseen amount of data for scientists to study.

"This is just a really good indication of how we need to be able to continue to study these storms and understand why they happen...and the more resources they can put into that the better," Ritchie said.

Ritchie said there simply isn't enough historical data to draw any one conclusion, such as climate change, from an event like Hurricane Sandy.


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