The Weekly Dive Vol. 45


Stories from Hurricane Sandy

The most massive hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, which caused at least $20 billion in damages by early estimates, and killed 193 people in 7 countries, is the focus of this week’s Dive. We curated stories that provide interesting perspectives, incredible images and context outside the typical coverage. –Ed.

Ground-level and satellite photos document extensive destruction. These collections of photos show the intense destruction, and before and after satellite images of New Jersey show the vast scale of the impact.  [Surfline; The Atlantic; NASA]

Destruction in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey. Photo: AP/Steve Nesius.

Sandy promotes discussion of climate change. From the unapologetic cover of Businessweek, to bloggers coming out in force to declare Sandy a product of climate change, everyone was talking about at least the possibility that climate change had a role in exacerbating the super storm. (Ps. Sea surface temperatures in the US northeast were 5 degrees higher than average at the time of the storm). [Observer, Salon.com, Treehugger]

 

Sandy aftermath underscores need for, and effectiveness of, emissions-free energy and transportation. Fuel shortages and generator outages led to solar charger donations as part of the relief effort and prompted a renewed interest in widespread use of solar panels. Meanwhile, bicycles became a dominant form of transportation in the face of gas-rationing and disabled public transport. [Softpedia; The Huffington Post; Treehugger]

 

Models of sea level rise from 5 years ago predicted Sandy’s destruction. Sandy provided a real-world demonstration of the long term models of sea level rise in a few days, and the models were spot on. The only difference is Sandy went away after a few days, whereas sea level rise will be permanent. [Inside Climate News]

 

Officials are talking about solutions to the issue of flooding. While moveable sea barriers built in 1969 prevented millions of dollars of damage to Stamford, Conn., and have been successful elsewhere, they present their own set of problems, which got officials talking about expansion of wetlands, and other ideas. [The New York Times]

Photo: Matt Clark.

A few good things happened. First responders once again lived up to their legendary heroism and surfers were treated to some historic waves.  [Surfline.com, NBC]

 

Raw sewage pollution from flooding prompts seafood advisories. Flooded waterways may be contaminated by untreated sewage. Health advisories have been issued in New Jersey for recreational boaters, crabbers, and anglers, who were told not to eat any seafood from them. [Science Daily]

 

Photo: Daniel Pullen.

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