Anthrostorm Sandy Speaks: My Landfall Near Atlantic City
Earlier I called myself a hybrid storm: part nature, part human. That’s not quite right. Humans and Hurricanes are part of nature. We both thrive on this planet thanks to sunlight, water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Hurricanes and tropical storms have been around for millions of years. In the last 50 years things have changed. The oceans are warmer. This week the waters off the US east coast were 3 degrees C warmer than normal.
The air is warmer at 0.8C (1F) and there is 4 to 6 percent more moisture. This is a fundamental change. The amount of extra heat-energy is like exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year. This is one of the reasons why I am such a large and powerful storm.
All this extra heat is result of human activity — burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. You call these changes human-induced climate change or global warming. I am, in part, a result of human-caused climate change. And so were my 19 brother and sister hurricanes and tropical storms this year.
So what to call us? We need new words. Some call this time of major human impacts on the planet “The Anthropocene”. A big word to describe a big change: the era when humanity is influencing every aspect of life on the planet.
We are the Anthrostorms of the 21st century.