Powerful Hurricanes Such As Sandy and ‘Black Swan’ Storms Could Alter U.S. Coastline
Scientists and meteorologists examining data from Hurricane Sandy think the massive super-storm that caused widespread devastation from North Carolina to New York City in October could be a harbinger of changes for the U.S. coastline.
Exactly how those changes might unfold isn’t clear. But some scientists who study hurricanes and coastal environments outlined some possibilities at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Monday.
Ning Lin of Princeton University, Hilary Stockdon of the U.S. Geological Survey in Saint Petersburg, Florida and and Dylan McNamara of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington said unusually powerful storms such as Hurricane Sandy may form a little more frequently in the future. Some of these destructive storms will be so-called “black swan” storms that are unprecedented.
The term “black swan” refers to a theory developed by Lebanese-American scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain major unexpected events that have dramatic, far-reaching and long-lasting effects.
“A black swan is a surprise event with a huge impact,” Lin said. “It can’t reasonably be anticipated based on historic records.”......