Newsletter: The Forgotten Victims of Hurricane Matthew



News and analysis on climate change adaptation.

Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions

From the Desk of Emilie Mazzacurati

It would be easy to overlook the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthews. With media and political leaders almost entirely focused on the presidential election, it can be hard to even get basic facts on the extent of the damages along the storm track.

Yet Haiti is going through its worth humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. Entire villages have been wiped out and many are left with nothing. As is so often the case, the most vulnerable countries are also the most exposed, reminding us that climate change remains a significant obstacle to the eradication of poverty and sustainable economic growth.

Even in the United States, the impacts have been much worse than anticipated, with over a dozen dead in North Carolina and crippling floods, in pattern of extremes becoming increasingly the norm.

Our responsibility in the wake of these events is to keep raising awareness of the need to prepare and adapt to climate impacts, and channel greater funding towards improving infrastructure and social resilience. Hurricanes will come back, and so will floods and heat waves and wildfires. It’s time to invest in resilience.

Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO

Impacts of Hurricane Matthew on Haiti

For a nation like Haiti, economic and social development is difficult enough without being in the path of a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Matthew crossed over the southern peninsula, near the coastal city of Jérémie, where a new highway and cell service had recently spurred business growth. Now they have to begin again. The country must also deal with multiple threats to recovery, ranging from a resurgence of cholera to chronic poverty.

Video: Michael Mann on the Link Between Hurricane Matthew and Climate Change


Dr Michael Mann on Democracy Now (Part I)

Dr. Michael Mann discusses the link between Hurricane Matthew and climate change

Hurricane Matthew and the trail of destruction left in its wake has rightfully received heavy news coverage, but a critical aspect of the storm has been underreported. Dr. Michael Mann speaks on Democracy Now to explain the unique nature of Matthew and its rapid intensification is due to the warming waters, both on the ocean surface and below, in the Caribbean. The Washington Post also wrote on: What We Can and Can’t Say About Climate Change and Hurricane Matthew.

Flooding From Hurricanes on the Rise, Regular Impact on U.S. Economy Likely

While the wind speeds of Hurricane Matthew slowed as it reached the Carolinas, its impact grew in the form of heavy rains and subsequent flooding. Analyses of historical data and climate models show that flooding from storms has become more frequent, and will continue to intensify as sea levels rise and a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. By the end of the 21st century, New York could see repeats of Hurricane Sandy-level flooding, and the billions of dollars in damage that comes with it “as frequently as once every 23 years.”

Infographic: Climate Signals

This infographic from Climate Signals maps the pathways through which the increase in greenhouse gas in the atmosphere contributed to increased wind damages, increased flood risk for a hurricane like Hurricane Matthew. 

Financing Resilience Must be Local

“Chronic under-investment in infrastructure also affects a community’s ability to recover from disaster. Building back better should be a matter of “building in” resilience to future conditions. The first place to start is infrastructure,” write Stacy Swann of Climate Finance Advisors and Andrea Colnes of Vermont Energy Action Network, arguing for greater development of local or regional financing options. Climate-smart, resilient infrastructure will be crucial for communities to survive extreme weather events, and local financing options could be better suited to the specific and contextual local resilience needs.

Meet the Team: Josh Turner

Four Twenty Seven welcomes Josh Turner to the research team as a Climate Data Analyst, putting his expertise to use in working with data to assess specific climate risk assessments for clients. Josh is also tasked with curating datasets, applied data analysis, and developing written and visual materials for clients and stakeholders.

Before joining Four Twenty Seven, Josh worked with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre at establishing a preliminary climate risk assessment for anticipatory humanitarian action in Lomé, Togo. Josh has extensive prior research experience on a variety of atmospheric phenomena including the hydrological cycle, the Urban Heat Island effect, aerosols, and the Great Plains Low Level Jet.

Learn more about Josh’s experience.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:
  • October 19-21: Climate Strategies Forum, San Diego, CA – CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will be teaching a CCO bootcamp, Climate 202: Leveraging Climate Data & Tools
  • October 29 – November 2: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO: Meet with Director of Advisory Services Yoon Kim.
  • November 7-18: COP 22, Marrakesh, Morocco: Meet CEO Emilie Mazzacurati and CSO Camille LeBlanc at the Sustainable Investment Forum and other events focused on private sector and climate finance.
  • December 12-15: AGU 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA: Director of Analytics Nik Steinberg, Director of Finance Colin Shaw, and Climate Data Analyst Colin Gannon each will be presenting.







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