One of those studies, published last week in the journal Nature,
found that warming seas are providing more energy to Atlantic Ocean
hurricanes like Hurricane Ike, increasing their size and the
strength of their winds (see below). Prior studies have shown that
warming is producing increased rainfall, severe flooding and storm
surge during big storms.
"The huge costs of extreme weather and flooding from global
warming far outweigh any hypothetical benefits from offshore
drilling," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace Research Director.
"Hurricane Ike shows the vulnerability caused by our oil addiction.
If Congress is really interested in helping Americans, it will free
us from our reliance on oil by increasing automobile fuel
efficiency and investing in clean energy sources like wind and
Even as global warming intensifies large storms like Hurricane
Ike, it is also driving sea level rise, making coastal communities
and infrastructure like oil rigs and refineries more vulnerable to
storm surge. Today's storm surge predictions for Hurricane Ike will
put major oil refineries and chemical plants at risk.
Links to Recent Science:
1. Warming seas make strong storms stronger, according to new
study in Nature.
Elsner, James; Kossin, James P.; Jagger, Thomas H. "The
increasing intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones." Nature.
455, 92-95 September 4, 2008.
2. New studies in Science and Nature sharply increase sea level
Pfeffer, W.T., J.T. Harper, S. O'Neel. "Kinematic Constraints on
Glacier Contributions to 21st-Century Sea-Level Rise" Science 5
Vol. 321. no. 5894, pp. 1340 - 1343 (
A paper published in Nature on August 31 found that sea level
rise may be increasing at faster rates based on new paleoclimate
research. Evidence from a prehistoric mass of glacier ice known as
the Laurentide ice sheet, which existed in climatic conditions
similar to that of today, indicates that Greenland could undergo
large changes faster than previously expected, raising sea levels
1.3 m (4.3 ft) by 2100.
"We conclude that we could be grossly underestimating how much
the Greenland ice sheet could melt by the end of this century,"
said Anders Carlson, a paleoclimatologist at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the study.
Carlson, Anders E. et. al. "Rapid early Holocene deglaciation of
the Laurentide ice sheet" Nature Geoscience p. 620 - 624, 2008 (
CONTACT: Mike Crocker, Greenpeace Media Officer, 202-215-8989;
Glenn Hurowitz, Greenpeace Media Director, 202-552-1828