As yet, we can’t say how much of the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy was attributable to climate change. It’s nonetheless suggestive of the extreme events that a changing climate will visit on us – much sooner than we had anticipated.
Obama can perhaps be forgiven for casting climate change as a future challenge. The scientists who drew up the last major report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 may have taken that view too.
But it is now becoming clear that the report underestimated how quickly the planet would respond to warming and how serious the effects are likely to be.
New Scientist, 14 Nov 2012