In many ways, Sandy resulted from the chance alignment of several factors associated with the weather. A human influence was also present, however. Storms typically reach out and grab available moisture from a region 3 to 5 times the rainfall radius of the storm itself, allowing it to make such prodigious amounts of rain. The sea surface temperatures just before the storm were some 5°F above the 30-year average, or "normal," for this time of year over a 500 mile swath off the coastline from the Carolinas to Canada, and 1°F of this is very likely a direct result of global warming. With every degree F rise in temperatures, the atmosphere can hold 4 percent more moisture. Thus, Sandy was able to pull in more moisture, fueling a stronger storm and magnifying the amount of rainfall by as much as 5 to 10 percent compared with conditions more than 40 years ago. Heavy rainfall and widespread flooding are a consequence. Climate change has also led to the continual rise in sea levels—currently at a rate of just over a foot per century—as a result of melting land ice (especially glaciers and Greenland) and the expanding warming ocean, providing a higher base level from which the storm surge operates.
These physical factors associated with human influences on climate likely contribute to more intense and possibly slightly bigger storms with heavier rainfalls. But this is very hard to prove because of the naturally large variability among storms. This variability also makes it impossible to prove there is no human influence. Instead, it is important to recognize that we have a "new normal," whereby the environment in which all storms form is simply different than it was just a few decades ago. Global climate change has contributed to the higher sea surface and sub-surface ocean temperatures, a warmer and moister atmosphere above the ocean, higher water levels around the globe, and perhaps more precipitation in storms.
The super storm Sandy follows on the heels of Isaac earlier this year and Irene last year, both of which also produced widespread flooding as further evidence of the increased water vapor in the atmosphere associated with warmer oceans. Active hurricane seasons in the North Atlantic since 1994 have so far peaked with three category 5 hurricanes in the record breaking 2005 season, one of which was Katrina. As human-induced effects through increases in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continue, still warmer oceans and higher sea levels are guaranteed. As Mark Twain said in the late 19th century, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Now humans are changing the weather, and nobody does anything about it! As we have seen this year, whether from drought, heat waves and wild fires, or super storms, there is a cost to not taking action to slow climate change, and we are experiencing this now.
In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.It's one week before the election, and Morris is dreaming about people "discovering" something new about Obama. Like how he's Kenyan and hates freedom. He also expects a Republican six-seat Senate gain, because if he's going to be wrong, he might as well be spectacularly wrong.
Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?
Once everyone discovers that the emperor has no clothes (or that Obama has no argument after the negative ads stopped working), the vote shift could be of historic proportions.
Morris says Michigan has 15 electoral votes. It has 16
He says Minnesota has 16 electoral votes. It has 10.
He says Colorado has 10 electoral votes. It has 9.
He says Nevada has nine electoral votes. It has 6.
David Kurtz, Talking Points Memo:
You shouldn't read too much into single polls, but when a bunch of random state polls come in and they all look like this, you can stop using the word "surging" to describe your campaign.
Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of
War Defense between 2001 and 2006, so none of this should be news to him:
Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51.
February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Truck bomb kills 17.
February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards.
July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan
Suicide bomber kills two.
December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.
March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomate directly targeted by the assailants.
September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria
Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13 wounded.
January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece
A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.
July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.
March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls' school instead.
September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured.
As for Obama, the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi are the first two attacks on a U.S. diplomatic mission in an ostensibly peaceful country during his entire presidency—and they were sparked by that idiot wingnut Islamophobe Terri Jones. The embassy in Afghanistan was targeted by the Taliban last Sept. 13, but that's a country at war.
If you buy Rumsfeld's nonsense, you can tally the numbers to determine which administration was "perceived weaker."