The Next Big One: Climate change

Will global warming trigger more superstorms? News 12's Stone Grissom reports. (1/28/13)

WOODBURY - Hurricane Sandy came on the heels of two other severe weather events, and it has many Long Islanders wondering: could climate change be the culprit behind the extreme storms?

Experts agree there will be another big storm like Sandy, and they say Long Islanders need to be prepared for this type of occurrence once in a while. 

Dr. Edmund Chang, a professor at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, says it's too early to tell how global warming is affecting storm patterns. However, some are already worried that higher ocean temperatures and the loss of arctic ice might lead to more frequent extreme weather in our area. 

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Scientists say they have a pretty good understanding of how storm patterns move in large areas like the Atlantic. The difficulty comes when you're forecasting for a small, highly populated area like Long Island. 

However, as scientists try to understand what's happening to weather patterns the stakes are getting higher. Officials say heavy shoreline development on Long Island is a bulls-eye for future superstorms. 

Experts say climate change occurs over decades, so the best defense is to make our area less vulnerable.

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