Recent Urban Floods: A simple equation

By: Dr. Marshall Shepherd , 1:38 PM GMT on August 13, 2014

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Meteorology and climatology usually involve complex calculus and physics. However, as I watch breathtaking flooding in Boulder, Pensacola, Detroit, Baltimore, and Long Island, a rather simple equation comes to mind.

Urban Flooding = Increase in intensity of top 1% rain events + expanding urban impervious land cover + storm water management engineered for rainstorms of "last century"

I have researched and published on precipitation/urban hydrometeorological processes for over 2 decades. I am also a member of the NASA Precipitation Science team and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission that recently launched.

As we watch roadways become rivers in Detroit and parking lots become lakes in Baltimore, it reminds me of the record 2009 Atlanta Floods that we studied in the peer-reviewed, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010BAMS3003.1).

That flood was a juxtaposition of extreme meteorological conditions, urbanization, and people.

I am not a big fan of linking 1 event to climate change and have written that numerous times. With flooding events, it is helpful to try to place them in a context of changing climate that will help the public with perspective.

To say this week's Long Island, Detroit or Baltimore floods are "caused" by climate change is ill-posed and invites criticism. That is like saying because I am at archery class and hit the bullseye one time, I am going to hit it every time. Probably not likely.

BUT if somehow the bullseye is "tripled" in size, I probably have a better chance of hitting the bullseye more often.
Warming climate is likely increasing the "urban flood bullseye", making the probability of such flooding more likely.

As our climate warms, scientists have warned for decades of an accelerated water cycle that will lead to more "extreme" hydroclimate (flood, drought) extremes . The recent U.S. National Climate Assessment Report, which is Congressionally mandated since the late 80s/early 90s, published these facts/graphs showing the top 1% rain events have increased in intensity everywhere in the continental U.S over the past 50 years. (http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/heavy-downpours-increasing)


Figure 1. Percent changes in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (the heaviest 1%) from 1958 to 2012 for each region. There is a clear national trend toward a greater amount of precipitation being concentrated in very heavy events, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Image credit: NCA Overview, updated from Karl et al. 2009.

A friend, long-time Baltimore area resident and StormCenter CEO/Meteorologist Dave Jones recounts someone saying "that parking lot at BWI airport never floods." It did yesterday, and severely.

And oh, even with a larger bullseye, I will still miss the target sometimes (e.g., there will still be cold or dry days too), but that doesn't change the fact that I have a better chance of hitting it.

But, intensity is only part of the story. For the first time in history, a majority of the world lives in cities. I discuss the growth of urbanization and its implications on weather and climate in a recent Earthzine article. Urbanization requires more roads, parking lots, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces that alter the urban water cycle and optimize urban flooding potential.

Additionally, civil engineers and hydrologists use recurrence intervals/frequency (best represented as IDF curves) to design engineered systems for storm water management and drainage. A host of peer-reviewed literature affirms that many cities' storm water engineering is designed for last centuries rain storms or under an assumption of stationarity (i.e. 1950s rainstorms are just like 2014 rainstorms). Consider the abstract of this peer-reviewed paper:

"The hydrologic design standards for urban drainage systems are commonly based on the frequency of occurrence of heavy rainfall events. Observations of recent climate history indicate that the frequency of occurrence of heavy rainfall events is increasing. This increasing trend will likely continue in the future due to global warming. In this study, extending from previous analysis results for Chicago, the rainfall intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) relationships were determined to represent the climate conditions of the first and second halves of the last century. Using these IDF relationships, the impact of the observed increase in heavy rainfall events on the design and performance of urban drainage systems were quantified. This quantification demonstrated the need for updating rainfall IDF relationships to reflect changing climate conditions. In the design of new and retrofitting or replacement of old urban drainage systems, up to date IDF relationships need to be used to maintain design standards."


By the way, I didn't even get into the recent literature suggesting that Arctic amplification may be causing "wavier" jet stream patterns that could lead to more extreme events. I personally am letting that play out a bit more in the literature because I am not a big fan of "1-study" conclusions on either side of the issue. However, a recent National Research Council study has captured current literature on that issue.

The bottom line for me is that cities must strategically consider hydrometoeorology and climate in its current and future planning, storm water management design, and transportation systems.

Yep, our climate changes naturally. Always has. Somehow I managed to figure that out over the course of 3 degrees in atmospheric related sciences. But it now has an additional signal on top of it. And more and more impervious surface for heavy rains to fall upon.

Our Jurassic era friends didn't know what asphalt was....

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30. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
11:21 AM GMT on August 29, 2014
DrShepherdWxGeeks has created a new entry.
29. areebanaz
7:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2014
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Member Since: August 27, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
28. AveryGreynold
5:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2014
A simple explanation for increased precipitation events 1958-2012: What goes up, must come down, and weather moves east (US). Beginning in 1958, continually increase surface evaporation from irrigated agriculture, suburban sprawl landscaping, industrial processes and cooling towers. Downwind, it rains back down and evaporates. Repeat cycle eastward. Global warming not a necessity.
Member Since: August 19, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
26. Skyepony (Mod)
4:28 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
The perspective in Detroit from a guy manning the pumps.





Oss~ You must have forgot your citations & no one disputes there is more sea ice in Antarctica or land temps for the last 18 years so more graphs showing that is even further from topic, it has nothing to do with the blog entry itself & isn't anything new, it's been very hashed across the blogs & such. You are free to hash it again in your WUnderblog..

This is a recent change in moderation.. Keeping it a little more on topic in some of these featured climate blogs..Sort of an experiment the community demanded & has led. They have actually been flagging almost all of these old hashed/debunked arguments like what you brought from out across the featured blogs.. the mods really can't keep it totally on topic in real time, it's been more a community effort & they have demanded the mods try & move things in this direction..

This entry is based on that it's accepted that climate change has caused greater rainfall (that warmer air can hold more water) & is about addressing the consequences of that. We just had another sobering example of it compounded on an infrastructure not built & possibly maintained to withstand that in Detroit...& are trying to discuss that.

If you have issues with it maybe take them to the community manager's blog.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39457
25. Naga5000
3:56 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Quoting 24. Ossqss:

Naga, Skyepony has opted to censor my direct graphical rebuttal, with citations, to your post. Apparently we are NOT all created equal on this site.

This post IS tagged as climate change and IS applicable to comment on current and projected climate conditions. My censorship IS nothing but bias of opinion.

How sad this site has become. L8R


What graphical rebuttal? There is literally no peer reviewed science that rebuts AGW, let alone graphs that are part of the actual scientific discourse on the topic. Blogs posts and opinion pieces are not science and not evidence and it is simply foolish to be treated as such.

There was nothing to rebut, I used the accepted, specific scientific data you broadly referred to as not happening. This is obviously going nowhere fast, so I'll end my interaction with you here.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
24. Ossqss
3:08 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Naga, Skyepony has opted to censor my direct graphical rebuttal, with citations, to your post. Apparently we are NOT all created equal on this site.

This post IS tagged as climate change and IS applicable to comment on current and projected climate conditions. My censorship IS nothing but bias of opinion.

How sad this site has become. L8R
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
22. Skyepony (Mod)
2:03 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Locally here the area didn't really begin to develop into anything that could be called urban til the 1960s.. It's when my parents moved/built here, so I've got their oral history & such on this. There really wasn't anything for extreme flooding issues until 1999. An invest came through & dumped 19inches of rain. An unheard of amount for the climate of the area. It took a few realtor signs to take down the old system that had been built for much less dense an urban area. Since it's design the zoning had been changed & high density housing had been added. Many homes flooded, mine came close. Had water in the barn.



So the county put a decent effort into fixing the flood issues. Much of this is an expensive residential area that lays between Lake Washington & the Indian River. Colverts for the Eau Gallie River that takes the inland flooding to the river were made bigger to handle the water, more storage ponds were added. They have always made good effort to keep canals & drainage cleared here & invested even more to stay vigilant at that.. The idea of Lake Washington, being fed by the ST Johns might over flow through the drainage system was addressed & some locks were added, that could be closed during extreme rain events to prevent this...though I'd argued at the time~ that million was being wasted.

It wasn't long before another extreme rain event happened. Faye in 2006 showed such locks were ineffective.. 20-26" of rain fell across the area. Lake Washington over flowed for 3 miles & more east across & through alot of homes & across I-95 shutting that down. Had the original zoning densities been adhered to certainly less would have flooded but we'll never know how much it would have been a saving factor. It was sobering to see the lake grow in such a way. It really made the point that some of this area should have never been built on. Lucky for me The Eau Gallie River banks collapsed blocking the worst of the flooding just to my west. Barn barely flooded that round.

This was taken after the water had dropped a few feet.


But it's sort of the local joke if you could build a levee, drain part of the river & put condos in that bowl you'd have the most desirable, expensive property around...



The most amazing thing is every single time I have debunked your inane ramblings you just return with the same poorly sourced nonsense and same logical fallacies.

EstherD~ This is why that disappeared. The community at large is about over it & are removing most of it.. This blog is about urban flooding brought on by climate change & other factors.. Not if climate change is happening.. Especially when the same tired argument with such wrong info is posted by the same people. It's disruptive to the discussion & really starts to to look like trolling & deliberate disruption to those that read it daily & is interested in the urban flooding or what ever problem by result is at hand. In reality the argument of how much Antarctic sea ice there is & why, isn't going to do much to keep Detroit from flooding again. It really is off topic..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39457
21. Naga5000
1:03 PM GMT on August 18, 2014
Quoting 18. Ossqss:



Well, if you consider the Arctic ice area growing to the levels not seen since 1996, Antarctic ice levels breaking all time highs, and no global warming for near 20 years a conspiracy, I am in.

Just sayin, check it.

The whole argument with respect to AGW is based upon failed model output against actual observations. The models can't even model today in hindcast with up to date data.

It is all about programmed sensitivity, and nothing more. Every output from derivative models to project flooding in urban areas suffer from the same fundamental sensitivity problem.

Did you know that Detroit had a bigger rain event in 1925? Did Windsor, right across the river, have as significant of an issue with flooding?


Nice gish gallop, I guess 'll have to go point by point.

"Well, if you consider the Arctic ice area growing to the levels not seen since 1996"

What a simply disingenuous statement, 1996 is a cherry picked year that even the record melt of 2012 shared some data points with, but as can be clearly seen, there is no real comparison between this year and 1996, despite what your friends at WUWT have told you.




"Antarctic ice levels breaking all time highs"

You must mean sea ice since land ice is melting, right?

"Oceanographic data also find that the waters in the Southern Ocean are warming. The waters of the Southern Ocean's Antarctic Circumpolar Current have warmed more rapidly than the global ocean as a whole. From 1960 to 2000, water temperature increased by 0.068°C per decade at depths between 300 and 1000 metres. This warming trend has increased to 0.098°C per decade since the 1980s (Boning 2008).

If the Southern Ocean is warming, why is sea ice increasing? There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere (Gillet 2003). A side-effect is a strengthening of the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent (Thompson 2002). The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas leads to increased sea ice production (Turner 2009).

Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007).

Antarctic sea ice is complex and counter-intuitive. Despite warming waters, complicated factors unique to the Antarctic region have combined to increase sea ice production. The simplistic interpretation that it's caused by cooling is false."

Link

While land ice shows a downward trend:




"and no global warming for near 20 years a conspiracy, I am in"

No warming for 20 years? By what metric? Surface temps?



Even the RSS shows an increase over your cherry picked 20 year period. Even though I shouldn't even be engaging is this line of argument since climate is defined as 30 years and statistically speaking, it is incredibly difficult to get a statistically significant trend over a shorter period.

Including the oceans and areas over the oceans, still not a single downward trend, not even in the denier favorite RSS



"The whole argument with respect to AGW is based upon failed model output against actual observations. The models can't even model today in hindcast with up to date data."

No, it is based on 100+ years of science that you seem to have not read.

Your assumptions are in error, therefore your argument is bad on its face. It is nothing more than pseudo science and conspiracy.

SO thanks for showing your true colors here, I knew you would. The most amazing thing is every single time I have debunked your inane ramblings you just return with the same poorly sourced nonsense and same logical fallacies.


Cheers.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
20. cRRKampen
9:48 AM GMT on August 18, 2014
Quoting 18. Ossqss:



Well, if you consider the Arctic ice area growing to the levels not seen since 1996, Antarctic ice levels breaking all time highs, and no global warming for near 20 years a conspiracy, I am in.

Say wtf??
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/21/34622 51/hottest-june-on-record/

And May. And April.
Member Since: April 3, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
19. barbamz
9:12 AM GMT on August 18, 2014
Tokyo combats flood threats with second mammoth reservoir
by Jacob Adelman, Bloomberg, Aug 17, 2014
Below the condos and boutiques of Tokyo’s upscale Minato Ward — which includes Roppongi Hills, home to Goldman Sachs Group’s Japan headquarters — a boring machine has carved out the city’s newest defense against floods.
“There are many buildings, there’s a freeway,” said Satoshi Yamamoto, who’s directing the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s ¥24.5 billion project to build a giant subterranean reservoir — the second of three — to handle flood waters from the Furukawa River that winds through the area. “We decided the best approach was to go underground.”
When it’s completed in 2016, the 3.3-km-long tunnel-shaped reservoir, which is 7.5 km in diameter, will be able to handle 135,000 cu. meters of water, enough to fill 54 Olympic-size swimming pools. Tokyo is becoming increasingly reliant on this unique-to-Japan solution as more typhoons hit the country each year, a trend that Yamamoto said may be linked to global warming. The flooding is exacerbated by the city’s sprawling concrete footprint, which keeps rainwater from seeping naturally into the ground.
“Japan has no choice,” Marcelo H. Garcia, director of the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a phone interview. “With the lack of space they have, they have to come up with some ingenious way of doing this.” ...
Whole article see link above.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 63 Comments: 6723
18. Ossqss
2:04 AM GMT on August 18, 2014
Quoting 15. Naga5000:

While Ossqss may have a valid argument in terms of infrastructure, when the argument is framed in anti-science conspiracy theory and attacks of "bias" and "agenda driving" it crosses the line from a valid counter point to trolling. Leave the conspiracy stuff for WUWT, Infowars, and your facebook page.


Well, if you consider the Arctic ice area growing to the levels not seen since 1996, Antarctic ice levels breaking all time highs, and no global warming for near 20 years a conspiracy, I am in.

Just sayin, check it.

The whole argument with respect to AGW is based upon failed model output against actual observations. The models can't even model today in hindcast with up to date data.

It is all about programmed sensitivity, and nothing more. Every output from derivative models to project flooding in urban areas suffer from the same fundamental sensitivity problem.

Did you know that Detroit had a bigger rain event in 1925? Did Windsor, right across the river, have as significant of an issue with flooding?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
17. guygee
6:45 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
Quoting 16. AnotherScienceGuy:

No objection to the main point: that urbanization intensifies the effects of precipitation. But please don't call that thing an equation. It's a series of phrases attempting to describe causes, tied with an equal sign to one attempting to describe an effect. Effects don't equal their causes. In any case, the units of measurement must be identical on both sides of an equation. These are not quantitative expressions and have no defined units of measurement. Just substitute the = sign with a left-pointing arrow and call it a relationship.
Actually there are many equations in physics that are "unitless" (the units "cancel"), such as the equation for Reynolds Number or the equation that relates electric permittivity to electric susceptibility. Reduction of dimensionality is an important technique in numerical analysis, and even Newton's equations of motion can be put into dimensionless form.

I agree that the relationship that we are discussing is not really an equation, but with some modification it could be made into a real physical equation with proper units. For example we could assign to drainage infrastructure the maximum capacity of water discharge as the maximum possible volume of water moving past a fixed location (chokepoint) per unit time. These topics are covered in texts and research papers on geological hydrology and related civil engineering studies.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3202
16. AnotherScienceGuy
6:11 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
No objection to the main point: that urbanization intensifies the effects of precipitation. But please don't call that thing an equation. It's a series of phrases attempting to describe causes, tied with an equal sign to one attempting to describe an effect. Effects don't equal their causes. In any case, the units of measurement must be identical on both sides of an equation. These are not quantitative expressions and have no defined units of measurement. Just substitute the = sign with a left-pointing arrow and call it a relationship.
Member Since: August 17, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
15. Naga5000
5:07 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
While Ossqss may have a valid argument in terms of infrastructure, when the argument is framed in anti-science conspiracy theory and attacks of "bias" and "agenda driving" it crosses the line from a valid counter point to trolling. Leave the conspiracy stuff for WUWT, Infowars, and your facebook page.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
14. guygee
3:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
Quoting 11. Ossqss:
That is simply not true. I addressed the most important factor in preventing urban flooding. Keeping the drains clean. This thread completely ignored the obvious to further push an agenda. The bias is quite obvious on this site in general and the deletion of my post and subsequent quote of such proves it. I hope some can see the prejudice and outright suppression this site condones. You all should be ashamed of your behavior.
Indeed, I would add "degraded water distribution infrastructure maintenance and repair" to the equation of Dr. Shepherd, largely due to decreased government funding and increasingly lax enforcement of environmental laws and building codes. "Cleaning the drains" is just the most obvious part of this factor. Our civil infrastructure will continue to crumble at an accelerating pace as extreme and damaging flood events become more probable due to global warming, unless we refocus our priorities.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3202
13. ckbckb
5:45 AM GMT on August 17, 2014
Totally agree with Esther. Who's in charge here? Whoever it is needs to wise up and show more maturity and respect.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
12. EstherD
4:29 AM GMT on August 17, 2014
Quoting 11. Ossqss:



That is simply not true. I addressed the most important factor in preventing urban flooding. Keeping the drains clean. This thread completely ignored the obvious to further push an agenda. The bias is quite obvious on this site in general and the deletion of my post and subsequent quote of such proves it. I hope some can see the prejudice and outright suppression this site condones. You all should be ashamed of your behavior.

It is a rare day indeed when I find myself in agreement with anything that Ossqss writes; this is one of them.

I read the original post, before it was taken down. I didn't see anything particularly disruptive about it. Poorly written and not very clearly argued, perhaps, but nothing to warrant a flag, let alone a takedown. I was therefore quite surprised to see response #10 by Wyote, and even more troubled today to see that the original posting has been taken down. Especially considering that post #2 by shackled, which is clearly self-promotion (and possibly borderline SPAM), has not been taken down. While that may not be indicative of bias toward certain individuals or viewpoints, it certainly does indicate that standards are not being applied consistently.

Presentation style and inferred motivations of the OP notwithstanding, what of the idea that poor maintenance is a significant factor in recent urban flooding? That has yet to be addressed by anyone, but it should be. You don't have to live in a city with 100+ year-old infrastructure (like Boston), or one in poor economic condition (like Detroit) to know that deferred (or non-existent) maintenance is a significant issue.

And as an engineer I'd like point out a corollary: the only reason it is possible for politicians to short-change the maintenance budgets year after year is precisely because we engineers design things to handle the worst-case scenario.

Initially, the system can handle a 100-year flood (whatever that means in practice), because it was designed and built to do so. But slowly, over time, due to lack of maintenance, the system degrades. Eventually, there isn't as much actual margin as was originally designed in: a system that used to be able to handle a 100-year flood with ease now struggles with a 25-year flow. But even so, as long as the flow volumes aren't excessive, nothing bad happens, or at least not very much. But when things finally do go crazy, which we all know sooner or later they will, then look out!

If you're a commuter, better hope that isn't the day you happen to be on the road. And if you're a politician, better pray that it happens during the next guy's term of office! ;)
Member Since: November 10, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 234
11. Ossqss
6:20 PM GMT on August 16, 2014
Quoting 10. Wyote:

Comment #6 flagged for intentional disruption of thread. Nothing added to the discussion, simply an attempt to disparage the intent and premise of Dr. Shepard's post.


That is simply not true. I addressed the most important factor in preventing urban flooding. Keeping the drains clean. This thread completely ignored the obvious to further push an agenda. The bias is quite obvious on this site in general and the deletion of my post and subsequent quote of such proves it. I hope some can see the prejudice and outright suppression this site condones. You all should be ashamed of your behavior.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
10. Wyote
3:41 AM GMT on August 16, 2014
Comment #6 flagged for intentional disruption of thread. Nothing added to the discussion, simply an attempt to disparage the intent and premise of Dr. Shepard's post.
Member Since: November 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
9. tlawson48
1:20 PM GMT on August 15, 2014
Some good news regarding urban flooding and sewage overflows. The following is an excerpt from today's Portland Press Herald regarding the sewage system in Portland, ME:

"The city of Portland is in the middle of a decades-long effort to reduce its sewage overflows as part of a 1993 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under that agreement, the city must reduce by 80 percent the estimated 840 million gallons of overflow water that entered local waterways in the baseline year.

The city has spent an estimated $100 million on infrastructure improvements so far and begins a second phase this year expected to cost $170 million. Those costs will be borne by ratepayers, who could see sewer rates increase on average of 10 percent a year. City officials will begin discussing the new rates and fees next week.

Mike Bobinsky, director of the Portland Department of Public Services, said the city is roughly half-way toward that required reduction. But heavy storms – and especially storms of Wednesday’s magnitude – still overwhelm the system, resulting in millions of gallons flowing into Back Cove, the Fore River and Casco Bay.

“We are making good progress,” Bobinsky said. “It is certainly not there yet.”

It was unclear how much overflow entered the waterways around Portland during Wednesday’s storm. The city operates monitors on some overflow outlets, however that data was not immediately available Thursday.

But Bobinsky said one recent improvement was put to the test Wednesday night. Enormous conduits capable of storing 2 million gallons of wastewater and storm water were installed under Baxter Boulevard and Payson Park. Those storage systems are designed to hold the overflow until it can be sent to the treatment plant.

“It is functional and last night it was at capacity,” Bobinsky said. “It collected 2 million gallons, if you will, of overflow.”

That is 2 million gallons that otherwise likely would have flowed into Back Cove, he said."

Member Since: February 10, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 1408
8. DonnieBwkGA
12:26 AM GMT on August 15, 2014
Was there some sort of upper disturbance or short wave or a pwat bullseye associated with the excessive rains that occurred in Detroit, Baltimore and Long Island? What I'm trying to ask is if there was a specific disturbance within the storm system that caused the excessive rains in all three places.
Member Since: June 29, 2013 Posts: 36 Comments: 2638
5. Skyepony (Mod)
4:30 AM GMT on August 14, 2014
Environmental Flood disasters = Increase in intensity of top 1% rain events plus expanding urban need/greed plus drilling/mining management engineered for rainstorms of "last century"


Environment Pollution in Mexico on Thursday, 14 August, 2014 at 03:43 (03:43 AM) UTC.
Description
A mine in northern Mexico spilled over a half-million gallons of a cyanide solution used in heap-leach gold mining, after heavy rains caused a retaining pond to overflow. The accident occurred at the Proyecto Magistral mine in the northern state of Durango. Originally, a spokeswoman for the Toronto-based McEwen Mining Inc. said the company owned the mine, but later said that it owns a mine with a similar name in another state. The Attorney General for Environmental Protection said Wednesday that the cyanide-laced solution contaminated an area about a half-kilometer (quarter-mile) square. The office ordered the company to install membranes in holding ponds and raise the height of containment dams. It was the second mine spill in as many weeks in Mexico. Earlier this month, a mine in Sonora state spilled 10 million gallons (40,000 cubic meters) of mining acids into a river.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39457
4. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
11:29 PM GMT on August 13, 2014
I'll be writing about floods and climate change in my WU blog this evening and will refer to this ... Like the simple equation and the bigger bulls eye ...
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 322 Comments: 273
3. MiddletownFraming
8:13 PM GMT on August 13, 2014
nice read. thnx
Member Since: October 16, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
2. shackled
3:51 PM GMT on August 13, 2014
The solution to climate change
replacement for fossil fuel powered electrical generation

byAvatar for D.BakerD.Baker@silenced_not
7 months ago1,013 total views
Embed
Urgent action required, appears to be the consensus of the most learned climate change advocates!
The collective wisdom acquired through trial and error test applications of alleged solutions, has been enlightening, and sobering as agenda driven rhetoric failed time after time to deliver a replacement technology for the fossil fuel powered electrical generating facilities, which are the primary sources.of GHG the alleged culprits inducing global climatic destabilization!

Most recently 2 documents have corroborated a much maligned document I wrote!
In My Opinion! lnkd.in/ifM2au@Inc


* Leaked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the report says that agricultural output may drop by as much as two percent every decade for the rest of this century, compared to what it would have been without the effects of climate change. Demand for food is reportedly expected to rise 14 percent each decade during that time, exacerbating the food supply issue.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/1/5056260/ipcc-lea ked-climate-change-report-warns-severe-food-constr aints

* letter, by Kenneth Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Kerry Emanuel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, James E. Hansen of Columbia University and Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Adelaide

"To Those Influencing Environmental Policy But Opposed to Nuclear Power"
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/to-th ose-influencing-environmental-policy-but-opposed-t o-nuclear-power/?_r=0

Unfortunately building conventional nuclear facilities is not realistic due to the costs associated with safety issues.

This leaves you with one option other than Geo-engineering "A New Nuclear Technology"!
Geo-engineering is the newest subsidy for the fossil fuel industry and is wrought with unknown risks and dangers and therefore not an option.

The New Nuclear Technology I propose is as follows:
Human Excrement + Nuclear Waste = Hydrogen

disq.us/8en3l0

lnkd.in/ifM2au@Inc



Page 29 Last Sentence
http://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/Board%20 Activities/Letters/1994/ltr_199467_15926.pdf




Radiolysis No Meltdown Risk Fig 2.1 http://books.google.ca/books?id=-UFDAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA 23&lpg=PA23&dq=commercial+radiolytic+hydrogen+prod uction&source=bl&ots=jb8Ba-LLV4&sig=BpfUrhWDr7OPUs c8wTSfvyP2PXQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9xxfU_n7IoSY2QWCroGgCA &ved=0CEEQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=commercial%20radiol ytic%20hydrogen%20production&f=false



You've tried everything else first and these have failed adding to the urgency of action required!

Dennis Baker
1. - 998 Creston Avenue

Penticton BC Canada V2A1P9

dennisbaker2003@hotmail.com
@dennisearlbaker @silenced_not
Member Since: August 13, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
1. billread4
2:49 PM GMT on August 13, 2014
Very well put. Add the tropical cyclone rainwater floods (Agnes, Lee, Amelia, Allison, etc) floods as another example. Our flat topography in Houston makes our roads floodways when over 2" in an hour falls. It would be prohibitively expensive to mitigate this with faster runoff due to the flatness. Add in the acceptance of 100 year flood as benchmark for locating housing and critical infrastructure and it becomes easier to see the problem. Occurrence of extreme events in the 100- 500 year range lead to a lot of the flooding. Yesterday's 10+ inches exceeds the 100 year event in the northeast (http://precip.eas.cornell.edu/maps/map_NRCS_1day_ 100yr_color.jpg). I doubt much can be done in heavily developed northeast corridor to mitigate the flooding caused by a 10 inch short duration event.

If studies continue to show higher frequency of extreme rain events, then the 100 year events will be larger rainfall amounts with corresponding higher frequency of urban floods. I see no political will to change the benchmarks so expect to see a continual, maybe exponential rise in losses due to flooding..
Member Since: August 13, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0

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I'm Expert Host of TWC's WxGeeks, Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at Univ. of Georgia and 2013 President, American Meteorological Society