Blog : Extreme Weather Events On the Rise: Is Your Business Prepared?

By Corey | Jan 29, 2015 | in

There were a myriad of names people called this week’s blizzard that swept the Northeast – Juno, Snowpocalypse, Snowmaggedon, Snowzilla, Colbie. Those aware of the detrimental and dramatic weather events caused by climate change have another name for the storm – Predictable. Those in denial about climate change's effects on winter weather will often claim if global warming is real, then what’s with all the snow? Climatologists such as Dr. Kevin Trenberth have explained repeatedly that a large contribution to these massive snow storms is in fact due to human-induced climate change. Trenberth explained that:

“The number one cause of this is that it is winter. In winter it is cold over the continent. But it
is warm over the oceans and the contrast between the cold continent and the warm Gulf
Stream and surrounding waters is increasing. At present sea surface temperatures are more
the two degrees Fahrenheit above normal over huge expanses (1000 miles) off the east coast and water vapor in the atmosphere is about 10 percent higher as a result. About half of this can be attributed to climate change.”

The Green Alliance, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and NH Coastal Adaption Workgroup will host an event, Weathering Change, on March 12 to discuss how this increase in adverse weather effects businesses both big and small, and what people can do to prepare for more extreme weather.

Severe storms, like this week's blizzard, have increased by more than 70 percent in the past six decades in the Northeast, according to National Geographic and the 2014 National Climate Assessment report. Due to the direct connection between global warming and more extreme precipitation, the warmer atmosphere that we are experiencing is allowing for more moisture to be retained. As explained by the U.K. Met Office, when it is cold enough to snow, snow storms are fueled with more water vapor and thus are more intense. Additionally, climate change is altering the jet stream and weather patterns in ways that can cause storm systems to slow down or get stuck, hovering over a particular area, which leads to more time for extreme weather events to do serious damage.

With the increasing likelihood of floods, snow storms, cyclones, and other dangerous weather to be more prevalent in our future, businesses could take a detrimental hit. Without proper awareness and preparation in climate change effects, businesses on the Seacoast will be greatly threatened. Learn how to adapt to our changing environment and protect your business by attending the Green Alliance’s Weathering Change event. Marsha Haines of the American Red Cross and Roger Stephenson of NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup will speak at the event about how businesses can prepare for potential disasters caused by climate change.

Sign up for the Green Alliance newsletter here, or become a member here to receive more information about events like Weathering Change and information on environmental issues.