Storm

Insurer’s Message: Prepare for Climate Change or Get Sued

Publication: NBC News   Date: June 6, 2014   View Article

To insurance companies, there’s no doubt that climate change is here: They are beginning to file lawsuits against small towns and cities who they say haven’t prepared for the floods and storms that will cost the companies billions in payments.

Earlier this week, the U.S. arm of a major global insurance company backed away from an unprecedented lawsuit against Chicago and its suburbs for failing to prepare for heavy rains and associated flooding it claimed were fueled by global warming. While legal experts said the case was a longshot, its withdrawal didn’t alter the message it contained for governments: prepare now for climate change or pay the price.

Surviving typhoons will require smart building – and a cultural shift

Publication: NBC News   Date: November 11, 2013   View Article

As the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan becomes clear, a question lurks on the horizon: How can the world’s most vulnerable communities prepare for increased storminess on a warming planet? Answers range from using nature to weaken surging walls of water to building homes that can withstand buffeting winds. All will require a shift in priorities, experts say.

“The science is very clear about the trends in climate change, and one of the impacts is definitely more intense and potentially more frequent storms,” Imen Meliane, director of the international marine program at The Nature Conservancy in Washington, told NBC News. To prepare for this stormier world, the environmental group advocates increasing the natural protections of coastlines.

Big jump seen in hurricane related storm surges

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 18, 2013   View Article

Massive hurricanes that push piles of seawater city-blocks inland when they howl ashore will increase dramatically as the planet continues to warm, according to a new study.

“It is pretty clear” that climate change must affect hurricane activity “somehow,” Aslak Grinsted, a climate scientist at the University of Copenhagen, told NBC News. “But it is not clear exactly how.”

Study: Microbes to protect coasts as oceans acidify

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 7, 2013   View Article

Ancient single-celled organisms called foraminifera may protect coastlines from stormy weather in the coming era of warmer and more acidic oceans, according to a new study.

That’s because the microscopic shelled creatures, called forams for short, each produce about .4 pounds of calcium carbonate per square foot of ocean floor. Calcium carbonate is the limestone material that forms the bedrock of coral reefs and comprises about 4 percent of the Earth’s crust.

Summer Storms to Create New Ozone Holes as Earth Warms?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 26, 2012   View Article

Summer storms may create new holes in our protective ozone layer as Earth heats up—bringing increased solar ultraviolet radiation to densely populated areas, a new study says.

What’s more, if more sunlight reaches Earth, skin cancer could become the new marquee risk of global warming.

How lightning shoots for the stars

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: May 20, 2011   View Article

On rare occasions, jets of lightning escape from the tops of thunderclouds and shoot up into the atmosphere where they pose a threat to weather balloons and other scientific instruments. New research explains how it happens.

“In some instances there is enough energy and electric charge available for that lightning to just keep propagating up and up and up and it keeps going to about 50 miles high,” Steven Cummer, a lightning expert at Duke University, told me today.

The jets come to a halt at 50 miles high because they run into the ionosphere, the electrically conducting part of the atmosphere, which “sort of shorts it out and prevents it from getting any farther,” he added.

Global Warming Is Rapidly Raising Sea Levels, Studies Warn

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 23, 2006   View Article

Water from melting ice sheets and glaciers is gushing into the world’s oceans much faster than previously thought possible, sending scientists scrambling to explain why.

The unexpected deluge is raising global sea levels, which scientists say could eventually submerge island nations, flood cities, and expose millions of coastal residents to destructive storm surges.

By the end of this century the seas may be three feet (one meter) higher than they are today, according to a pair of studies that appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach