Hurricane Sandy is causing major havoc already, and the eye of the storm – which could be the largest to hit mainland in U.S. history – hasn’t even hit many parts of the East Coast.
Hundreds of thousands of East Coast residents evacuated and had moved to higher ground on Monday, as New York City and Washington shut down their public transportation systems, school closings were announced days ahead of time in New Jersey and other states, and towns up and down the coast and in the Northeast ordered residents to be prepared for the worst. As of Monday morning, Sandy was moving north-northwestward and accelerating, and is expected to bring “life-threatning storm surge and coastal hurricane winds plus heavy Appalachian snows,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Violent weather such as Hurricane Sandy could be an effect of climate change. Dr. Heidi Cullen is the author of The Weather of the Future and a senior research scientist with Climate Central, a non-profit research organization through which she reports on climate for news and weather outlets. Her job is to study weather and the effects we have on it. Watch Cullen talk about how climate change affects weather and why she’s worried about the future:
“The weather of the future looks like a planet that is actually very different than our own and one that we are not necessarily well-adapted to,” Cullen said. Cullen imagines that if we continue to ignore the effects of climate change, more extreme weather is in our future, including extended heat waves, intense rainstorms and other disasters that will be damaging – and costly – to our infrastructure.
About 50 million people from the Mid-Atlantic to Canada were in the path of the nearly 1,000-mile-wide Hurricane Sandy storm. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Craig Fugate met with President Obama and on Monday offered up last-minute evacuation orders and hurricane safety tips, including staying off the roads during the hurricane, abiding by evacuation orders, and staying inside unless absolutely necessary.
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