Reality check: Who believes Hurricane Sandy was/was not caused by global warming?

This list of who’s who is instructive to review. It says a lot about credibility of the “Sandy was caused by global warming” argument being pushed by activists and media.

Compare who’s pushing the agenda versus who isn’t buying into the hype.  See below. 

Links to their statements are designated with an asterisk * – click on the * to see the story

Says Global Warming IS the cause of Hurricane Sandy Says Global Warming IS NOT the cause of Hurricane Sandy
Name affiliation/link Name affiliation/link
Al Gore activist Climate Reality Project * Dr. Martin Hoerling NOAA *
Joe Romm activist CAP  * Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. UC *
Bill McKibben activist * Dr. Karsten Brandt donnerwetter *
Chris Mooney activist and blogger, Grist * Dr. Chris Landsea NOAA NHC *
Roseann Barr actress/singer Pres.candidate * Dr. Ryan Maue Weatherbell *
Meghain McCain no known credentials * Dr. Patrick Michaels VA state climo/ Cato *
Dr.Katharine Hayhoe Texas Tech * Dr. Judith Curry Georgia Tech *
Dr. Michael Oppenheimer activist EDF * Dr.Norman Page PhD – Geology *
Jennifer Granholm TV host/fmr governor * Dr.Gerald North Texas A&M *
Dr. George Lackoff Berkeley * Eric Berger Houston Chronicle SciGuy *
Dr. James Hansen activist, NASA GISS * Tom Chivers UK Telegraph *
Van Jones apologist and activist * Andrew Revkin New York Times *
 Chris Matthews  Hardball * Deniers are pigs. Dr. Roy Spencer UAH *
 Bill Clinton  #42 *  Joe Bastardi  WeatherBELL*
 Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky  Pollster *
Michael Moore  Sicko (on CNN)
Dr. Randall Dole (NOAA):Dr. Peter Stott of the UK Met OfficeDr. Kevin Trenberth (NCAR)   *  Dr. Michio Kaku *
Dr. Kerry Emanuel (MIT)  *

From this comparison it seems clear that activists are pushing the idea that Hurricane Sandy is cased by AGW/Global Warming.But what about the hundreds of other storms?

Readers are invited to submit other entries in comments.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
lurker passing through, laughing

The question is leading to odd answers. It is not at all clear what the believers are actually saying they believe.

George Lackoff (rhymes with…) Oops! I digress.
I am a degreed chemical engineer and am reasonably confident that global warming/climate change had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy,

It makes me sad that Dr. Hayhoe is associated with Texas Tech, they have such a wonderful Wind Research Center. Meggie Mac, well, she’s the daughter of Senator McCain. Fruit, trees, and all that.

It can’t have been caused by AGW as there has been no recent global warming…but then maybe that’s too hard for them to comprehend; sigh.


Imagine if the Galveston 1900 storm came again. The alarmist machine would melt.

The very obvious conclusion is that storms that do a lot of damage are the ones that are caused by AGW!
Hence Katrina, Sandy et al all qualify.
Other storms that take place away from ill protected areas full of ill prepared people and web cams to document the scary pictures simply don’t qualify and don’t need a mention.


Global warming can now align different weather systems at the perfect time. It can also cause the moon to be full at high tide for added effect. There is now nothing global warming can’t do. I am in awe! Now I know how the true believers feel. It’s almost …………..divine!

R. Shearer

I blame B.ush

David L

I discovered a new positive climate feedback. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 which causes global warming. Global warming causes hurricanes. Hurricanes hit populated areas and knock out the power grid. All the people that believe in global warming then run gasoline powered generators, releasing more CO2, until the power grid comes back on.


Mosh is on record at Dr. Curry’s blog as a definite yes at

The frankenstorm is directly tied to global warming.

. I’m a definite we don’t have enough information yet to say something that foolish. Solve the feedbacks first then look for secondary effects.

Recall how only professional scientists had a right to an opinion of this sort? That would kinda cut the left side down a bit, don’t you think?

It was a butterfly here in San Diego – darn thing flapped its wings before I could swat it… Sorry ’bout that.

Says Global Warming IS the cause of Hurricane Sandy:
Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo
Well, that was inferred from his recent (today’s) comment when he says something is causing ‘these extreme weather events”. As a politician he has probably not specifically come out on either side excepting his ‘posturing’ to what looks like on the surface as support for conclusions congruent with CAGW philosophy.

Charlie A

Most things in life are not black and white. It is quite possible that anthropogenic CO2 has affected the climate, and therefore hurricane Sandy in some way.
What’s not clear is the magnitude or type of effect. I think it was Judith Curry that noted that one probably effect of warmer Atlantic ocean is to move the formation of hurricanes over closer to Africa, which would cause a higher percentage of hurricanes to stay mid-Atlantic rather than have USA landfall.
So for all I know at this point, increased CO2 has protected the USA.
Another blog post to remind everyone at this point is the BS Button post of Roger Pielke, Jr that reports on the IPCC SREX findings.


I think a list of this nature to be expanded to a greater degree or time frame would be a good idea.
When one sees his/her name clearly in the CAGW camp and published as such it would be a wake up call.
To find that one’s opinions and views are being compiled into a format that reveals where they stand / their beliefs on this issue may seperate the “me too” s to think rationally. I can see a lot of value in this approach.


R. Shearer says: October 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm
I blame B.ush
That one has been used so often, it should have its own domain, like .com, .net, .edu… .booooosh!

Peter Miller

Of course, Hurricane Sandy was caused by global warming.
We should have all learned by now that global warming is the cause of everything bad in our world from acne to toe fungus to populist politicians..
The greatest hurricane of all time – at least in recorded history – probably occurred in 1780 in the middle of the LIA. Obviously, just another inconvenient fact to be ignored by alarmists.

I would hope we could all agree that storm frequency should decrease in a (for the sake of argument) warming world, since the temperature gradient from tropics to poles should presumably decrease. As noted on this blog recently, colder planets have higher wind speeds.
If (again FTSOA) tropical & temperate zone ocean temperatures increase, the strength of the less frequent storms could increase. However, late season Sandy formed over cooler water & when it made landfall was not hurricane strength (wind speed in 50 kt range, not 72). Not to mention that subtropical Atlantic SSTs don’t show any more warming than the planet as a whole these long 16 years & counting. (Please correct me if wrong about these regional data.)
What made it (in popular imagination) a Frankenstorm was its collision with an unseasonably early cold air mass. This half of the equation does not compute with global warming, except via hilarious gymnastic contortions (associated with the need for “climate change” rather than “global warming” to maintain the myth of human culpability, hence grant dollars, Euros, etc).
In fact, it’s history is no different, indeed less dramatic than earlier pre-human carbonated air storms. To me, this looks like QED, but maybe that’s just me.

Sceptical Lefty

Such a poll may provide useful information as to INFLUENCE in the real world, but it is irrelevant to any determination of objective truth.
It is also interesting to note the absence of the word “anthropogenic”. Are the goalposts shifting again?


Some of the statements about hurricane Sandy made by Brian Williams of NBC
The new normal.
Is New York the new Amsterdam?
From New York to LA people are wondering what is going on?


30 Oct: Sydney Morning Herald: Peter Hannam with Reuters: Sandy has lessons for Australia, BoM says
Scientists are ***reluctant to attribute any single weather event to the effects of global warming. Climate models, though, predict fewer – but more intense – major storms such as cyclones or hurricane
“This is the sort of thing we’re warning about increasing over time,” Dr Braganza said. “We are breaking records across metrics where we’d expect to break records as the planet warms.”…
Dr Will Steffen, a member of the Australian Climate Commission, noted that Sandy is only a category 1 hurricane, but the damage will likely be significant because of its huge size and the fact that its landing coincided with a high tide.
“Sea-level rises – the observed sea-level rise around the world over the past century, and the projections for further rises – are related to climate change,” Dr Steffen said.
“It is the combination of sea-level rise, storm surge (like the one coming in from Sandy on the eastern USA coast) and high tides that lead to the worst flooding events.”
“The point here is that even modest rises in sea-level – of just tens of centimetres – can lead to much higher probabilities of high sea-level events,” Dr Steffen said.

David Ball

Has it been established that Sandy was a “Hurricane”?


How does global warming affect the moon?


bikermailman says:
October 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm
R. Shearer says: October 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm
I blame B.ush
That one has been used so often, it should have its own domain, like .com, .net, .edu… .booooosh!
The domain names and .net are available. go to to claim them.

Bill Illis

98% of the planet had perfectly normal weather today.
1% was much colder than normal.
1% was much warmer than normal.
And 1% had a hurricane which is perfectly normal for this time of year.

JOE BASTARDI on Fox News: My father [also a meteorologist] used to call it “the shortcut storm.” He said he was confident he would see it before his days were numbered, and he’s finally seen it, okay? That’s the first thing. Second thing is, get used to it along the East Coast. Maybe not this kind of track, but we are in a perilous time because the Atlantic’s warm; the Pacific’s cold. It’s the 1950s all over again. It has nothing to do with global warming, it has everything to do with nature, and then we’ll go back to where we were in the sixties and seventies.
Do you realize we had ten major hurricanes run the Eastern Seaboard between ’54 and 1960? Six of them in ’54 and ’55 — six hurricane hits — from North Carolina northward. So, you know, the old Bachman-Turner song, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”? If anything, I was too quick on the gun several years ago when I said we were gonna see this type of thing.

D Böehm

I voted. Once. Fun, but polls like this are not science. They do show a consensus, though.


Probably being too simplistic here with my BSME Thermodynamics vs PhD models etc, but:
Given that a Hurricane is a Carnot-cycle heat engine with dT = T seawater – T high alt air;
If global warming causes higher T high alt air;
System energy will be lower with global warming, not higher.
(assuming T-seawater is constant)

P Wilson

It seems improbable. Hurricane Hazel generated 100mph winds, increasing to 150mph when it reached Carolina destroying entire towns -with storm surge of 14.5 feet, passed through Washington, Pennsylvania and New York and then onto Ontario where it met a cold front, and it maintained its intensity – category 4 – all the way.. All this after killing 1000 people in Haiti, and that was in 1954.
Of course, we don’t know, partly due to increased technology and modern communications, how considerable hurricanes were prior to the 19th century

One thing that needs to be hammered home. This was NOT a big hurricane. It WAS a bad thing, no doubt. But many people in the path are now saying “That wasn’t so bad”. When a really bad storm does hit, they may well ignore the warnings. This is the real danger of calling this thing a “Frankenstorm”.
Really bad storm. Yes.
Unprecedented. No.
Worst. No.
I seem to remember a tale from my childhood that is apropos here. Something about crying wolf. No matter what side of this argument you support.

Craig W

I blame man-bear-pig … because AGW would not exist without Gore’s mythologically induced perseverations.


Did not James Henson predict a sea level rise that would flood NYC? Is this what he meant?


“Reuters) – Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit eastern United States, flooded servers of Datagram Inc in New York City, bringing down several media websites it hosts, including Huffington Post and Gawker.”
Reuters is of course playing the alarmist game but Huff Post out is an ironic result…

If that hurrican Hazel video wasn’t enough to convince someone, then it’s just time to give up. That was an amazing video.


It was a Cat. 1 storm. This is insane. As someone said, the landing on a full moon at high tide was big. The wind damage was minor, because …. it was a Cat 1 storm. Couple that with the nice funnel into NYC and you get storm surge.

I’m glad to see links to what these people are supposed to have said. But when I followed through, it didn’t seem to correspond very well:
1. Hansen – I couldn’t see anything in Revkin’s article quoting him on Sandy, or even on hurricanes
2. Pielke – the article just talked about the cost of past hurricanes – nothing about cause
3. Hayhoe and North comes from a Fox News article. But what do the quotes say?
Hayhoe:“Add to that the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 2 degrees warmer on average than a century ago, said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. Warm water fuels hurricanes.”
Well, the sea is warmer. And North:
“While components of Sandy seem connected to global warming, “mostly it’s natural, I’d say it’s 80, 90 percent natural,” said Gerald North, a climate professor at Texas A&M University. “These things do happen, like the drought. It’s a natural thing.”
Yet Hayhoe does in to one list, North into the other.


Trenberth and Salinger both on the radio in New Zealand today promoting this as the result of human induced climate change .

AGW couldn’t “cause” a storm any more than water could cause a storm. The question is: “What effect does human caused climate warming have on certain types of important weather events?” Is anybody here really proposing that the answer is “None”? JP

John West

If we blame this week’s storm on GW then what do we blame last week’s lack of storm on? GW?


Looks like the one in ’38 was also overlooked:


The Governor of New York, self proclaimed friend of Al Gore says in one interview that this is the new normal, that we have to get used to more extreme and more frequent events, that 100 year storms now happen every two years, and in 10 seconds later says how no one has ever seen anything like this before……Make up your mind. Either it happens all the time, or no one can remember it happening.
How pathetic!

David Ball says:
October 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm
> Has it been established that Sandy was a “Hurricane”?
Of course, until it got close to land. There was never a tropical storm or hurricane warning posted for NJ etc. Personally, given the eye on radar as it approached NJ, I think it probably was still mostly a hurricane at landfall, but certainly became extratropical soon thereafter.
It really doesn’t matter much – either way the waves on Long Beach Island came over the dunes, down the street and into Barnegat Bay.

Climate Weenie

For crying out loud, it was a category 1 hurricane that happened during hurricane season!
It had a still memorable precedent in the Long Island Express which was a cat 5 storm:
It has happened ever since European settlers were here and of course it’s happened forever:
Note all the October and even November storms on the list.
But this one was a combo Nor’easter!
That’s happened also, of course:
Jeez. Confirmation bias has people so blinded, even when thirty seconds of web searching can refute it.

Don Worley

I think the intense heat of the presidential campaign caused the storm to pop up.
Notice how when Obama flew to DC the storm suddenly lurched Westward.
Basic Neural Modeling.

D Böehm

Here are some good pics of the flooding.

dp says October 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm
Mosh is on record at Dr. Curry’s blog as a …

I think that is a ploy, a tactic, being shown there.

Did we forget this one?
CONTACT: Blair FitzGibbon : 202-503-6141 :
Statement by Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts and
“If the candidates won’t listen to the voters demanding they break their climate silence, maybe they will listen to Mother Nature’s October Surprise. We know the candidates will be asked about Hurricane Sandy, and will express their sympathy with those affected. They will rightly applaud the first responders, the compassion of neighbors, and the strength and resolve of the American people. But what their role as national leaders demands that they also do is explain that Hurricane Sandy is a true Frankenstorm, a monster created by man tampering with nature with oil, coal, and gas pollution.”
Wonder what side he’d go on.
Also, don’t forget the newest member of the Weather Channel stable – Dr. Jeff Masters.
He’ll say more later, but for now “…There’s so much more to say about Sandy–including how the storm may have been influenced by climate change–but I’ll save this for later posts, as it’s time to get something posted…” (dated October 30, 2012)
Naturally, all his faithful minions will agree with this.
So looks like the listing needs to be updated.


Pressure was 940 stop focusing on the winds. NJ shore absolutely obliterated. NYC did have a higher surge than ever recorded, its not just a bad storm its one of the all time greats. Its probably the Mid Atlantic’s Hurricane of 1938, at least New Jersey. Wind gusts in New England were in the low 80’s. Still right now bands are rotating into Southeast New England, wind gusts are over 50 mph on Lake Michigan. Many areas over 2 feet of snow in West Virginia. No it was not caused by global warming but quit down playing the storm by looking at scattered weather observations and actually look at the destruction caused.
This is a synoptic set up over land meteorologists never get to see. Let’s not forget the damage caused in the Caribbean before Sandy headed north. Can you name a Hurricane in recent memory that hooked so rapidly west while being infused by a baroclinic zone due to a strong negatively tilted Arctic trough? Meanwhile the NAO is in a deeply negative phase enhancing the pressure gradient and blocking the usual track out to sea. All the while a blizzard rages on the cold air advection side of the storm.
Do people really think the sustained winds and wind gusts measured in the Great Hurricanes of the past are all 100 percent accurate? Why on earth would you claim Sandy wasn’t a Hurricane…plenty of wind gusts were over hurricane force and the storm surge was consistent of a category 3 hurricane. Sandy will take its place alongside Katrina, Andrew, Hazel, 1938, 1935, and 1900 in the most significant storms since 1900.