Climate Adaptation: Are We Prepared?

Severe weather continues to strike around the world. Whether it’s super typhoon Haiyan striking the Philippines or Hurricane Sandy devastating US east coast, it’s obvious that storms are getting bigger and more powerful. It’s evident that we need to be prepared for these types of tragic events.

Severe weather events in 2012

Severe weather events in 2012

International Space Station Image of Haiyan - Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr

International Space Station Image of Haiyan – Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr

This week in Warsaw: the United Nations is meeting to discuss a global climate treaty, and given the impact of Haiyan, emotions were running high with delegates suggesting that a warming planet had turned Haiyan into a deadly monster. Many scientists remain cautious to link extreme storms, such as Haiyan or Sandy, to climate change saying that there isn’t enough data from a single storm but a trend is emerging.

Radar tower in the Philippines before and after Haiyan

Top image is of a radar tower after Haiyan’s destructive forces. Below is a different radar tower for reference.

Scientists, however, largely agree that storms WILL become more powerful as the climate changes. According to the New York Times, Dr. Kerry Emanuel of M.I.T. wrote in a 2010 study that the average intensity of hurricanes and typhoons would increase by up to 11% by the end of the century. Dr. Emanuel explains that as the planet warms because of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, the difference between sea and air temperatures increases. It is this difference that fuels these kinds of cyclonic storms. “As you warm the climate, you basically raise the speed limit on hurricanes,” he said.

The port of Ormoc city has been devastated - Credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection via Flickr

The port of Ormoc city has been devastated – Credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection via Flickr

So what can we do now that is meaningful and could potentially save thousands of lives? If we can’t control the climate, we better figure out a way to adapt to a changing climate. One of those ways is to Know Before™ severe weather strikes. This is true for both developed nations, least developed counties and everybody in between.

Credit: WeatherBug - Earth Networks

Credit: WeatherBug – Earth Networks

Earth Networks, WeatherBug’s parent company, owns and operates the largest weather and lightning observation network in the world. Because of this network, we are able to track and monitor storms as they happen and send out exclusive Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (DTAs) before lives are at risk 50% faster than other alerts. Faster alerts mean more time to react which is a key aspect in growing resilience to ensure the safety of our communities.

Here is a short clip of our network in Guinea. Video shows multiple DTAs (purple polygons) issued for the Guinean city of Conakry as the storm slowly moved toward the city. After 1 a.m., the storm regenerated and new DTAs were issued for the NE portion of the city as well:

We are demonstrating what we can do in providing early warning in changing climate with the hopes that we can bring this technology to the world.


Stay Safe. Know Before™.

-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team


Read what the esteemed publication Nature had to say about our demonstration

Check out the Guinea Project Blog







This entry was posted in Climate Change, General, Safety.
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