'NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms'
(DVD / PG / 2018 / PBS)
Overview: In summer 2017, three monster hurricanes swept in from the Atlantic one after another, shattering storm records and killing hundreds of people.
Here in 'NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms' we dive into the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. How can scientists better predict these storms, and what does the 2017 season tell us about the likelihood of similar storms in the future?
DVD Verdict: Reflecting on last year's devastating season that included hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, 'NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms' features Texas storm-surge expert Hal Needham and several locals who survived Harvey.
But, more than just remembering what happened, 'Rise of the Superstorms' ponders the question of whether such a disastrous season will be the new normal.
Also appearing are Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters, University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd, University of Florida meteorologist Forrest Masters, University of Florida geology professor Andrea Dutton, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane-research division director Frank Marks.
Indeed, as Masters himself puts it, "Water is going to be part of our future, both on the rivers, at the oceans. We need to be using the best science we have to prepare ourselves for our Waterworld future."
Which Dutton (University of Florida) follows up with, "Today, the global average sea level is rising at about three millimeters a year. So, that’s about the thickness of about two pennies stacked together, which doesn’t sound very impressive, right?"
"But when you look at the rate of sea level rise we see today, it far exceeds anything we’ve seen in the past several thousand years, at least. And so, sea level was going along" (gestures a flat line) "and then it started rising very rapidly, during the industrial period."
(Masters) - "By the end of the century, three Category 4 storms hitting is going to be not that unusual. It’s going to happen more often with warmer oceans and climate change."
(Sarah-Jane Lock) - "As the atmosphere warms and the ocean warms, there’s more energy in the system, and that energy has to be released somehow. So, we expect, from our understanding of the global Earth system, that as we increase the temperatures of the system, we, we should expect to see stronger and probably more frequent storms."
(Masters) - "We need to plan for a future where storms are going to be more intense, and sea level rise is going to be higher, and storm surge is going to wipe out a lot more of the coast when it hits."
(Shepherd) - "One of the things that I hope comes from 2017 is forethought on how we plan, in terms of resiliency, in places like Puerto Rico or perhaps even the Keys. We know that we are going to see hurricanes again and perhaps even stronger ones, if the climate change literature is correct."
This brand new NOVA documentary follows recent offerings on PBS such as the global warming effect found within 'Killer Hurricanes,' the brilliant 'Decoding the Weather Machine,' and the barn raising 'Inside the Megastorm.' This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.