Superstorm Sandy

Satellite view Super storm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy approached the mid-Atlantic on Oct 26, 2012. Polling indicates that making connections to extreme weather helps people to understand the significance of climate change and its associated impacts. In line with this research, Climate Nexus identified the storm as a potential messaging focus.


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Climate Nexus distributed background information on the hurricane and its relationship to climate change to hundreds of environmental reporters, editorial writers, op-ed page editors and meteorologists. During the storm and its aftermath, we put journalists in contact with our expert partners Dr. Kerry Emanuel, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, Dr. Anthony Lesierowitz, Dr. Jenifer Francis and Dr. Jeff Masters. Our efforts helped secured dozens of interviews for these experts on the storm and climate change, which generated hundreds of stories in the mainstream media.

From the background information we developed messaging guidelines, which we presented at a Climate Access briefing with over 100 participants. The guidelines were also shared with select congressional staff as well as with the green community. Representative Ed Markey used it to prepare for his appearance on Hardball, and Media Matters’ booking staff used it to prepare other guests appearing on cable news. Environmental organizations found it helpful in preparing their own talking points, media materials and blog posts. Finally, Climate Nexus implemented the messages directly in content distributed via our own social media networks.

Several days after the storm,

Climate Nexus developed a second set of broader framing points on how to pivot from Sandy to the case for climate action, which were broadly shared in the environmental community.

Press Coverage Includes

  • AP
  • Bloomberg
  • The New York Times
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The Guardian
  • The Boston Globe
  • TIME
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Politico
  • Hardball
  • CNN
  • NPR
  • The PBS Newshour