Hurricane Sandy has come and mostly gone, but the aftermath will be felt for years afterward. New York and New Jersey have been devastated and the rebuilding effort will take years. Since we have had about three systems that have been described as the ‘Storm of the Century’ over the past few years, it appears likely that our weather patterns are changing, probably due to manmade effects on the atmosphere. I think we will start to see major proposals to begin changing the character of New York Harbor in order to prevent the immense storm surges that we saw with Hurricane Sandy. The tip of Manhattan is just too low and I think we will start to see more of these types of storms.
But putting aside the human toll, the power of the Earth can’t be ignored. We need to appreciate just what the planet can through at us when the balance of solar energy, atmospheric additions, and the resulting weather is changed. Earth is a complex system, and when you change something in that system, there is a corresponding response. I believe that is what we are seeing now. Whether it’s hurricanes on the coasts, tornados inland, strong thunderstorms, or unexpected blizzards, we are going to see extremes for the foreseeable future. I hope to give you a little taste now as to what that means.
These pictures were taken on Sunday Oct 28, 2012. These aren’t the biggest waves that occurred by any means. But the area of Castle Rock in Marblehead was available on Sunday, about 18 hours before the storm hit. I took lots of pictures but when you get home and put them on the computer the question arises as to convey exactly what you saw and felt. If you have ever taken pictures of waves, many times what you find it that the waves are just white blobs. All the details inherent to a wave are washed away. I find that in order to better convey that sense of power, I need to bring back those details so the viewer can see what’s going on. To me, anyway, when I can do that at some small level, I begin to get a better sense of what these forces of nature can do. In the picture to the right, I’ve tried to bring in the detail in the waves crashing against the rocks. There are elements of the spray and the waves that I wanted to show so that the viewer gets a better sense of the motion and power associated with water moving like this. It’s not possible to let the viewer feel these waves when they pound against the shore. From where I was standing you could actually feel the waves hitting the coast and even though it wasn’t raining at that point, there was so much sea water in the air, it might as well have been raining, except for the fact that it was salt water.
I will leave you with a few more images from that day in Marblehead.
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