O Furacão Sandy e a Mudança Climática

ATHENS, GEORGIA – Nas últimas semanas da temporada Norte-Americana dos furacões – uma altura em que não se espera que uma supertempestade cause danos extensos na costa leste dos Estados Unidos – o Furacão Sandy recordou-nos a implacável ameaça dos fenómenos meteorológicos extremos. Com a mais baixa pressão atmosférica central em toda a temporada de furacões de 2012, Sandy pode ter causado até 20 mil milhões de dólares em danos, tornando-o numa das mais caras supertempestades da história.

Sandy interagiu com um centro de baixas pressões dirigindo-se para ele vindo do leste, colocando desafios difíceis para os previsores e provocando condições meteorológicas quase sem precedentes para a região. Há 20 anos, uma tempestade semelhante atingiu a Nova Inglaterra. Mas Sandy foi pior, provocando ventos com força de furacão, chuvas torrenciais, e severas cheias costeiras em todo o populoso corredor do médio-Atlântico e do nordeste.

Algumas pessoas tentarão, sem dúvida, ligar Sandy à mudança climática. Um julgamento apressado análogo foi feito após as massivas erupções de tornados nos EUA em anos recentes, mesmo que a literatura científica não ofereça um apoio forte a uma tal causalidade. Portanto, da perspectiva da mudança climática, é melhor analisarmos Sandy de um modo ponderado, para que reacções impetuosas não danifiquem a credibilidade científica.

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