As a Florida resident since childhood, I’ve experienced a number of tropical storms and hurricanes. Sometimes, these have left me without power and water for weeks at a time. I’ve had to go days without bathing. I’ve waited in line to get gas for 2 hours at a time and have even grilled, yes grilled, a frozen pizza when there wasn’t much else left to eat. I’d call myself a hurricane veteran. Unfortunately, I’m likely to have to face similar situations in the future.
In recent research published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, meteorologists found that six of 12 extreme weather events of 2012 were in part due to climate change. This includes storm surges. Rise in sea levels will make hurricanes, like Hurricane Sandy, 50 percent more likely to occur.
“In fact, it’s predicted that by 2100, such events — previously once-in-a-lifetime occurrences — will take place every couple of decades on the Atlantic Coast from Atlantic City southward,” reports an article by American Forests.
American Forests is taking action. One way it is helping is through Global ReLeaf projects, some of which are focused on replanting coastal buffers, which include mangrove forests and wetlands. According to the article, another study earlier this year found that without these coastal buffers, the number of Americans at risk of storm surges will double. This number is likely to increase over time as the sea-level continues to rise.
So, what can we do? Instead of just waiting for the next big storm, check out how you can help by looking into American Forests at www.americanforests.org.
by Susan Laszewski