I am getting very tired of politicians trying to use hurricanes to justify more taxes and higher energy costs to combat "climate change".
There is no global warming. There is nothing wrong with the air.
Hurricane Sandy came ashore in New Jersey as a Category 1 storm. Since it spent a long time over the Gulf Stream, it became physically large for its type. Indeed, if it hadn't had to contend with significant wind shear and dry air entrainment, it probably would have had winds at a Cat 3 level. It also received some baroclinic energy from a cold front that merged with it.
New England storms like this have happened numerous times in the past. About the only thing unusual about this one was that it made landfall almost exactly at high tide. This caused historically unprecedented flooding and wave erosion in places that have seen a large amount of construction and development in the last 50 years. For reference see the Snow Hurricane of 1804, the Long Island Express of 1938 (which was a Cat 3 at landfall), and the long list of powerful New England hurricanes on Wikipedia.
It is important to recognize that:
1. There has been no global warming in the last 16 years or more. And that is even using the biased, adjusted figures of "The Global Warming Team". If you use rural unadjusted (i.e. non-fraudulent) data there has been very little statistically significant global warming, and we are cooling now.
From UK Met Office data quoted by The Daily Mail.
2. Every measureable attribute of hurricanes -- energy, number of large storms, intensity of storms etc., has been trending downward since the 1990s. These things go in cycles, with a large random component. For example here is the accumulated cyclone energy chart:
3. Most everything in the weather is driven by ocean cycles and the sun. Atlantic hurricanes tend to follow the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation, which has a 60-70 year periodicity. (They are also influenced by the El Nino Southern Oscillation, which swaps every year or three, but is currently neutral.) We are kind of close to an AMO peak right now:
4. Since we are actually seeing LESS hurricanes and WEAKER hurricanes than would normally be expected for the current AMO state, I think Atlantic hurricanes are being moderated by a lack of solar activity which is driving true cooling. According to Livingston and Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, the sun may be heading into a deep sleep mode not seen since the Maunder Minimum/Little Ice Age. This chart shows that sunspots are fading both visually and magnetically independent of the 11-year solar cycle. We are already losing sunspots:
Chart from solar physicist Dr. Leif Svalgaard
Henrik Svensmark (physicist and professor at the Danish National Space Institute in Copenhagen) believes that solar activity modulates cosmic ray flux causing more clouds to form during times of less solar activity. The data seem to bear him out:
Global Cooling has already started. Get ready for the next Little Ice Age!
Thomas Wyke, Frost Fair on the Thames in London, Winter of 1683-1684