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Posted on on October 31st, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Unexpected OCTOBER HALLOWEEN CANCELING WEATHER ATTACK ON THE US EAST COAST: According to state governments and utilities, at least three million customers lost power along New England in the US.. More than 400,000 customers lost power across New York State at the storm’s peak, and most remained without electricity at midday Sunday, with the greatest damage in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties. More damage in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

People trudging through stores in search of sold-out supplies had little time to meditate on CLIMATE CHANGE . They talked more about how recent storms — the ice storm of 2008 in New Hampshire and Tropical Storm Irene in New Jersey — had prompted them to buy generators and left them better prepared.

But scholars began marshaling their arguments to remind people that single storms, no matter how dramatic, say little about overall climate patterns.

Robert Stavin, an economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, said a surprise winter storm no more disproved climate change than a hot day in August proved it.

But larger patterns of extreme storms and precipitation, even if accompanied by cold snaps, support the theory of global warming, he and several climate researchers said, because warming oceans are sending more moisture into the air.

Doubters of above – from among conventional economists or out of their water scientists, not just oil industry paid-for lobbyists, will just continue to make it harder for even a good US President to take the needed steps to change the focus of research policy in order to move to a post-fossil fuels future.

The storm struck trees of all ages and sizes in New York City’s Central Park: oaks and elms outside the boathouse, birches and dogwoods near Belvedere Castle, magnolias and mulberries beside the obelisk. The damage was spread across about half of Central Park’s 840 acres, making it the worst devastation that Douglas Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy, had seen in his 27 years there.

In all, as many as 1,000 of the park’s trees may be lost to the freak October snowstorm; in contrast, Tropical Storm Irene — which work crews only recently finished cleaning up after — cost the park 125 trees. “It’s like a bomb blew off,” Mr. Blonsky said, as he conducted a site survey of the park on Sunday. He looked out his car window at a 70-foot oak tree, near the park’s southeast entrance. Only a jagged stump remained. “Fall colors were just starting to kick in,” he said.

Even the most durable trees struggled to cope. The broad, rough leaves of a London plane tree, Mr. Calvanese said, made it particularly vulnerable to snow accumulation and, consequently, branch fractures. “It’s a resilient tree,” Mr. Calvanese said, sounding like a coach defending his players after a difficult loss. “They really do hold up well.”

The storm may be a death knell for apple-picking season at Hager Brothers’ small orchard in Shelburne Falls, Mass.

With temperatures expected in the teens, “that’ll probably be the end of what we can pick off our trees,” said Bethany Miles, who was working at the orchard store.

The wedding of Christine and Ryan Hubbard on Saturday night in Worcester — with pumpkins and flowers in warm, deep colors — was aiming for a crisp autumn look but ended up with an aesthetic that was more frigid slush.

“If somebody looks at our wedding pictures, they’re going to think that we got married in December,” Ms. Hubbard said.

The New York Times

For further details of actual damage please look at –

Cleaning Up After Nature Plays a Trick, by ANNE BARNARD and SARAH MASLIN NIR, 

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