One year ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard with high winds, heavy rain and a storm surge of more than 13 feet, claiming 44 lives and displacing thousands. The Superstorm turned the greatest city in the world into a city of darkness and called new attention to climate change.
Two years after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and almost one year after Superstorm Sandy altered New York’s land and seascapes, relief aid --- from both private donors and government agencies --- has been painfully slow in coming, as communities struggle to return to normal.
The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.