Storm Surge

Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future

Adam Sobel

Book

Was Sandy a freak of nature, or the new normal?

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy reached the shores of the northeastern United States to become one of the most destructive storms in history. But was Sandy a freak event, or should we have been better prepared for it? Was it a harbinger of things to come as the climate warms? In this fascinating and accessible work of popular science, atmospheric scientist and Columbia University professor Adam Sobel addresses these questions, combining his deep knowledge of the climate with his firsthand experience of the event itself.

Sobel explains the remarkable atmospheric conditions that gave birth to Sandy and determined its path. He gives us insight into the science that led to the accurate forecasts of the storm from genesis to landfall, as well as an understanding of why our meteorological vocabulary failed our leaders in warning us about this unprecedented weather system—part hurricane, part winter-type nor'easter, fully deserving of the title "Superstorm."

Storm Surge brings together the melting glaciers, the warming oceans, and a broad historical perspective to explain how our changing climate and developing coastlines are making New York and other cities more vulnerable. Engaging, informative, and timely, Sobel's book provokes us to think differently about how we can better prepare for the storms in our future.

Author

Adam Sobel is a leading scientist in the study of extreme weather and climate. He has authored or coauthored more than a hundred articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has won several major awards, including the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, the Meisinger Award from the American Meteorological Society, the AXA Award in climate and extreme weather, and the Ascent Award from the American Geophysical Union. Sobel received his PhD in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a tenured professor at Columbia University, in the departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. He lives with his wife and two sons in New York City.

 

Reviews

Storm Surge is a masterful account of the science and policy implications of Sandy. …Sobel excels at answering our most burning question: What was that thing?…[and] is able to navigate the complex science behind Sandy’s twists and turns with accessibility, precision and authority.” Washington Post

“In this comprehensive volume, [Sobel] looks at the science behind Sandy (and similar weather systems), examining the circumstances leading to it… and factors that made it a superstorm….Topics like these make for interesting, if technical, reading, and Sobel manages to strike an effective balance.” Publishers Weekly