NEW YORK — November 6, 2012. Global climate change increased the power and fury of Hurricane Sandy, according to Environmental Defense Fund Chief Scientist Steve Hamburg.
The EDF is a non-profit which “Takes on the most urgent environmental threats to the climate, oceans, ecosystems and people’s health,” according to its website. Hamburg said global warming affects the ocean waters, changes in the moisture of the atmosphere and changing energy patterns — as warming in the artic affects patterns of cold air in the atmosphere. In turn, all of these factors made Sandy a more powerful storm, but Hamburg said Sandy wasn’t caused by climate change.
“We could see more of this in the future,” Hamburg said. “If you look at the characteristics of this storm, it’s what the climate research community has said will happen.”
Ceres Spokesperson Peyton Fleming said the losses for the insurance industry add up to approximately $20 billion dollars. Ceres is an organization that mobilizes members of the business and investor community to “expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy economy,” according to its website.
“The estimates on the losses are double what they were a few days ago,” Fleming said. “But the broader economic impact is around $50 billion dollars.”
Fleming said the damage from storms like Sandy could impact insurance consumers across the board in higher insurance premiums.