Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 26 Issue 01

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Volume 26, No. 1
Pages 8 - 9

RIP CURRENT – NEWS IN OCEANOGRAPHY • Superstorm Sandy: A Series of Unfortunate Events?

Charles H. Greene Jennifer A. FrancisBruce C. Monger
First Paragraph

As we reflect upon the rash of extreme weather observed during 2012, no single event had as large an impact on the economy and political landscape of the United States as Superstorm Sandy (e.g., Bloomberg Businessweek: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-01/its-global-warming-stupid). Images of flooded subway stations in New York City, demolished towns on the New Jersey shore, and autumn blizzard conditions in Appalachia will be etched in the nation’s psyche for quite some time. With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events serving as a backdrop, many people are asking what role, if any, did anthropogenic climate change play in the development of Superstorm Sandy? We believe that the recent record-breaking losses of Arctic sea ice may figure prominently in answering this question and in improving our understanding of Sandy’s unusual nature.


Greene, C.H., J.A. Francis, and B.C. Monger. 2013. Superstorm Sandy: A series of unfortunate events? Oceanography 26(1):8–9, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2013.11.


Blake, E.S., T.B. Kimberlain, R. Berg, J.P. Cangialosi, and J.L. Beven II. 2013. Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Sandy (AL182012), 22–29 October 2012. National Hurricane Center, NOAA, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182012_Sandy.pdf.

Francis, J.A., and S.J. Vavrus. 2012. Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes. Geophysical Research Letters 39, L06801, https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051000.

Greene, C.H. 2012. The winters of our discontent. Scientific American 307:50–55, https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1212-50.

Greene, C.H., and B.C. Monger. 2012. An Arctic wild card in the weather. Oceanography 25(2):7–9, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2012.58.

Liu, J., J.A. Curry, H. Wang, M. Song, and R.M. Horton. 2012. Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109:4,074–4,079, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1114910109.