Wirbelsturm Sandy und der Klimawandel

ATHENS, GEORGIA – Zum Ausklang der Hurrikan-Saison in Nordamerika – einer Zeit, in der man eigentlich nicht davon ausgeht, dass ein Monstersturm an der Ostküste der USA weit verbreitete Schäden anrichtet – ist der Wirbelsturm Sandy eine düstere Mahnung in Bezug auf die Gefahren extremer Wetterereignisse. Sandy wies den niedrigsten Zentraldruck der gesamten Hurrikan-Saison 2012 auf und könnte Schäden im Umfang von bis zu 20 Milliarden Dollar verursacht haben; damit ist es einer der teuersten Superstürme der Geschichte.

Sandy wirkte mit einem sich ostwärts bewegenden Wettersystem zusammen, was für die Meteorologen eine schwierige Herausforderung darstellte und in der Region eine fast beispiellose Wetterlage hervorrief. Vor 20 Jahren suchte ein ähnlicher Sturm Neu-England heim. Aber Sandy war schlimmer, mit wirbelsturmartigen Winden, heftigen Niederschlägen und schweren Überflutungen entlang der Küste im gesamten, dicht bevölkerten mittelatlantischen und nordöstlichen Korridor.

Natürlich wird es Versuche geben, Sandy mit dem Klimawandel zu verknüpfen. Ähnlich voreilige Schlüsse wurden auch im Gefolge der massiven Tornados gezogen, die die USA in den letzten Jahren heimsuchten, obwohl die wissenschaftliche Literatur keine überzeugenden Hinweise auf eine derartige Verbindung bietet. Daher ist es aus Klimawandelperspektive am besten, Sandy mit Augenmaß zu betrachten, um nicht durch eine vorschnelle Reaktion seine wissenschaftliche Glaubwürdigkeit zu beschädigen.

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