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Environment

The Crazy North Indian Cyclone Season of 2007

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It is important to remember--as I note in my latest Daily Green item--that Cyclone Sidr isn't the first staggering storm in the North Indian Ocean basin this year. Indeed, you could argue that 2007 has been the worst year on record for intense North Indian cyclones; and before Sidr came Cyclone Gonu, the first Category 5 ever observed in the Arabian Sea.

gonu_tmo_2007157.jpg

Sidr turned out to be the bigger tragedy, but Gonu, pictured above, was certainly in the running for a while. The storm caused some $ 4 billion in damage to Oman, and it could have been worse. If Gonu had stayed intense for longer, and gotten into the Persian Gulf, it could have dramatically disrupted world oil production. And if you think there's finally some media coverage of what has been going on in Bangladesh...well, just imagine if gas prices had been dramatically affected. Granted, this is not to say big climate change inferences can be drawn based upon what has happened in one hurricane basin of the world in one year. But it is to say that just because we haven't been hit by strong hurricanes in the USA for the past two years, that hardly means the rest of the globe has gone to sleep. Moreover, in the long run, Bangladesh is indeed a global warming poster child. The combination of rising seas and possibly stronger storms will in all likelihood be devastating for a nation with little capacity to handle these challenges. Over at DeSmogBlog, I've got more on the future of Bangladesh in light of the latest findings from the IPCC--and sadly, it doesn't look good. And finally...for those interested in Cyclone Sidr's effect on Bay of Bengal SSTs, check out this animation. I am generally loathe to use the word "neato," but I think it applies in this case....

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