Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:22 AM GMT on July 12, 2011

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Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

I have been writing about a variety of issues that I know are of interest to only a small number of people – U.S. science organizations, climate model software, and validation of climate models. I am going to move away from that arcane set of subjects for a while and spend a little more time in the climate mainstream. In this entry I want to touch on several subjects – starting with my garden.

My garden is in the flat land that is the western edge of the Great Plains, just east of Boulder, Colorado. Weather wise, it is a complex and difficult environment: more than 5000 feet above sea level, reliant upon water from the winter snow pack in the mountains, huge swings of hot and cold. In terms of climate types, I have seen region defined as both arid and semiarid. In the last week, we have had three or more inches of rain – hard driving rain with much lightning. There is water standing between the rows in the garden. The week of July 4 it was so dry there was a fire ban, and many firework fires.

Last summer in Boulder we had the Fourmile Fire, which burned thousands of acres and dozens of houses. With this rain, we have mudslides, rock slides and flash floods (Longmont Times Call). It all makes you appreciate the importance of the weather and the climate. Wet and dry. Hot and cold. ( 485 Billion Dollar Impact of Weather)

Boulder is a microcosm of what is going on in the U.S. There have been overwhelming fires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. (Texas Fires). Dangerous drought and heat is spreading all across the southern half of the U.S. The dust storm last week in Arizona was reminiscent of pictures of the Dust Bowl. (more here). We were overwhelmed not long ago by the Mississippi River flooding. I have almost forgotten about the Missouri River flooding.



Figure 1: From KFAB Omaha News Radio. Photo Credit AP: Missouri River flood of Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant.

We see here the persistence of weather, climate, snow cover, drought, floods - one extreme after another. Jeff Master’s wrote an excellent summary of 2010-2011 as being a year of the most extreme events since 1816 – the year of Mount Tambora, a definitive and understood climate anomaly. Jeff writes that June 2011 continues the run. July 2011 is looking strong. It has been more than 300 months since there was a “below average” mean temperature. That’s a little compelling.

We are being handed one case study after another, where we see the impact that weather and climate have on us. And what is that impact? We see vulnerable people losing their homes, their crops. But where is the real threat? What does it mean that 213 counties in Texas are primary disaster areas?

Energy, economy, population – markets. We all know that the weather affects our economy. We rely on a stable climate. We see here and now an interconnected world, where extreme heat kills thousands and destroys crops and send food prices soaring. We see multiple billion dollar liens placed on our economy by floods, droughts, and tornadoes. These costs come at a time when economies all around the world are weak. There is a debt crisis, and the weather is demanding more loans. Right here and now the world is providing one climate disaster after another. The weather and climate are showing the need for more planning, for building resilience and recovery strategies. The weather and climate are revealing our vulnerabilities. While there is the obvious, the family fleeing the flood, the destroyed Joplin, Missouri hospital, there is also the accumulated impact felt through markets, higher food prices, emergency relief, things that will not be fixed, people relocating.

We are being offered lessons. I have written this far and not strung together the words “climate change” or mentioned “global warming.” This is the weather in our warming climate. The take away message from climate models, Be Prepared.

r

Rood on To the Point

Open Climate Modeling:

Greening of the Desert

Stickiness and Climate Models

Open Source Communities, What are the Problems?

A Culture of Checking


Organizing U.S. Climate Modeling:

Something New in the Past Decade?

The Scientific Organization

A Science-Organized Community

Validation and the Scientific Organization

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Quoting iceagecoming:



Night sky offers treats and challenges at the South PoleBy Grace Clark and Dana Hrubes, South Pole correspondents
Posted June 24, 2011 May is the month when “Polies” are settled into their work routine, which includes dealing with constant darkness.


We experienced a record in South Pole weather last month, with May 2011 being the coldest May since the Navy began keeping records in 1957. The average temperature was -62.6C/-80.7F. The previous record was from 1989.

Must be regional, really?







Link

And yet more extremes. Pretty amazing, init?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790



Night sky offers treats and challenges at the South PoleBy Grace Clark and Dana Hrubes, South Pole correspondents
Posted June 24, 2011 May is the month when “Polies” are settled into their work routine, which includes dealing with constant darkness.


We experienced a record in South Pole weather last month, with May 2011 being the coldest May since the Navy began keeping records in 1957. The average temperature was -62.6C/-80.7F. The previous record was from 1989.

Must be regional, really?







Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
He also cited a climate connection between Australia's severe floods and rising ocean temperatures off the coast there. That means "more evaporation and higher potential for these extreme downpours," he said.

"It can only be explained by global warming," he added.


the Earth is treating her flora with kindness lately

but not everywhere

at any point in time in Earth's history, there is a drought in one place and a heavy saturation event in another.

the mosaic of nature screams with a pattern of cyclicality

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
June 2011 ranked in the top five for warmest on record globally in the satellite record.

those poor radiation baked space instruments

i sure hope we'll be able to trust them going forward

when the chinese bid high to service them properly

as we scrap our space industry for DMV-style hospitals

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
This just in new box office record set for a movie oh that's right the ticket price went up
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
For out of the old fieldes, as men saithe,
Cometh al this new corne fro yere to yere;
And out of old bookes, in good faithe,
Cometh al this new science that men (lere).


from Middle English leren (“to teach, instruct”), from Old English lǣran (“to teach, instruct, indoctrinate”), from Proto-Germanic *laizijanan (“to teach”), from *laizō (“lore, teaching", literally, "track, trace”), from Proto-Indo-European *leyəs- (“to track, furrow”). Cognate with Dutch leren, German lehren. See also lear, lore, learn.





Geoffrey Chaucer
c. 1343 – 25 October 1400
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2011 already costliest year for natural disasters

Natural disasters across the globe have made 2011 the costliest on record in terms of property damage, and that's just six months in, according to a report released Tuesday by a leading insurer that tracks disasters.

Moreover, that record builds on a trend of recent costly years — which means more expensive insurance for consumers over the long haul.

The first six months saw $265 billion in economic losses, well above the previous record of $220 billion set in 2005 (the year Hurricane Katrina struck), according to Munich RE, a multinational that insures insurance companies.
Japan's earthquake and tsunami last March account for the biggest chunk ($210 billion), as well as most deaths (15,500 dead with 7,300 still counted as missing), but even without that cost factored in, overall losses still exceed the 10-year average, the company stated.

After Japan, the costliest disasters so far this year were New Zealand's earthquake in February ($20 billion), the twister outbreak in the U.S. Southeast ($7.5 billion), and Australia's flooding in December-January ($7.3 billion).
2011 is "one for the record books," Bob Hartwig, head of the Insurance Information Institute, told reporters being briefed on the study. "We are rewriting the financial and economic history of disasters on a global scale."

For the United States, 98 events (storms, flooding, fires and earthquakes) left $27 billion in economic losses, more than double the 10-year average of $11.8 billion, Munich RE stated.

The total number of events is trending up as well: The first half of 2011 has already produced more events than most entire years before 2006, the company found.

The vast majority of U.S. damage, $23.5 billion, was from twisters and other severe storms. Twisters have also claimed nearly 600 lives this year.

2011 will go down as "the year of the tornado," predicted Carl Hedde, a risk analyst at Munich RE.

Munich RE wasn't shy about drawing a connection between climate change and what it sees as longer windows for extreme weather.

While the trend for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions is fairly stable, severe weather events are on the upswing, said Peter Hoppe, who runs the company's Geo Risks Research/Corporate Climate Center.

There is "higher potential of thunderstorm development in the last decade" and "more dates per year during which storms can develop," he added.

Munich RE has factored in increased population, and thus more property, to see if those are behind the rise in economic losses. But the data show those alone "cannot explain" the increase, "so there is a significant trend in these losses," he said.

Natural events like La Nina and El Nino, ocean cycles that alter weather systems, are certainly factors as well, but warming temperatures appear to be adding a layer "on top" of that natural variability, Hoppe said.

He also cited a climate connection between Australia's severe floods and rising ocean temperatures off the coast there. That means "more evaporation and higher potential for these extreme downpours," he said.

"It can only be explained by global warming," he added.

MSNBC Article...

But hang onto your seats, folks; we ain't seen nothing yet...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
Drought, Fire, Flood: In the News

Nice Breezy Day, Clear Sailing, Spotty Gentle Sunshowers and Rainbows: Not In the News

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Cyclone- Every article you have posted proves there has been no positive trend in temperatures for the last several years thank you for making my point. The temperature anomalies should be at least 0.75 C according to the models yet the articles posted are not even close to that.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Greenland
Cities
Place Alerts Temp. Humidity Pressure Conditions Wind Updated
Aasiaat 52 °F 71% 29.56 in Partly Cloudy West at 9 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Angisoq 41 °F 87% 29.63 in WNW at 5 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Aputiteeq 33 °F 87% 29.94 in SW at 4 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Cape Harald Moltke Save
Cape Tobin 46 °F 71% 29.77 in N/A South at 13 mph 6:50 PM EGST Save
Carey Island 41 °F 74% 29.64 in SE at 15 mph 3:00 PM ADT Save
Daneborg 41 °F 73% 29.78 in SSE at 13 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Danmarkshavn Save
Hall Land 34 °F 100% 29.86 in Overcast NW at 5 mph 12:00 PM MDT Save
Henrik Kroeyer Holme 36 °F 80% 29.81 in West at 5 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Ikermiit 45 °F 96% 29.83 in NNW at 21 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Ikermiuarsuk 37 °F 100% 29.66 in North at 26 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Illoqqortoormiut 46 °F 71% 29.77 in N/A South at 13 mph 6:50 PM EGST Save
Ilulissat 63 °F 34% 29.53 in Partly Cloudy SE at 9 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Kangerlussuaq 68 °F 30% 29.50 in Partly Cloudy WSW at 8 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Kangilinnguit Save
Kap Morris Jesup 35 °F 93% 29.84 in West at 10 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Kitsissorsuit 38 °F 99% 29.67 in West at 7 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Kitsissut 57 °F 63% 29.53 in Partly Cloudy Variable at 9 mph 3:50 PM WGST Save
Kulusuk 50 °F 76% 29.83 in Light Rain East at 21 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Maniitsoq 50 °F 82% 29.56 in N/A SW at 6 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Mittarfik Nuuk 46 °F 76% 29.59 in Scattered Clouds SSW at 12 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Narsarsuaq 61 °F 42% 29.59 in Mostly Cloudy SSE at 2 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Navy Operated Save
Nerlerit Inaat 46 °F 71% 29.77 in N/A South at 13 mph 6:50 PM EGST Save
Nunarsuit 35 °F 95% 29.66 in NW at 10 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Nuuk 46 °F 76% 29.59 in Scattered Clouds SSW at 12 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Nuussuaataa 55 °F 67% 29.56 in Mostly Cloudy Variable at 5 mph 3:50 PM WGST Save
Paamiut 39 °F 81% 29.65 in Light Rain Showers WNW at 7 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Pituffik 44 °F 74% 29.64 in Clear West at 7 mph 3:55 PM ADT Save
Prins Christian Sund 43 °F 92% 29.62 in Light Rain NNE at 13 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Qaanaaq Save
Qaarsut 55 °F 67% 29.56 in Mostly Cloudy Variable at 5 mph 3:50 PM WGST Save
Qaqortoq 61 °F 42% 29.59 in Mostly Cloudy SSE at 2 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Sioralik 50 °F 82% 29.56 in N/A SW at 6 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Sisimiut 57 °F 63% 29.53 in Partly Cloudy Variable at 9 mph 3:50 PM WGST Save
Sisimiut Mittarfia 57 °F 63% 29.53 in Partly Cloudy Variable at 9 mph 3:50 PM WGST Save
Station Nord Save
Station Nord 32 °F 100% 29.84 in WNW at 6 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Summit Save
Tasiilaq 50 °F 76% 29.83 in Light Rain East at 21 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Ukiivik 39 °F 95% 29.65 in WNW at 7 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Upernavik 39 °F 93% 29.62 in Mist NW at 7 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save


CB, regional, Right.

The whole of the SH was cold, regional, say you?
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50. iceagecoming

:)

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Drought, Fire, Flood!

My first thoughts upon viewing the title.


Biblical plagues really happened say scientists
The Biblical plagues that devastated Ancient Egypt in the Old Testament were the result of global warming and a volcanic eruption, scientists have claimed.

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
11:00AM GMT 27 Mar 2010
Researchers believe they have found evidence of real natural disasters on which the ten plagues of Egypt, which led to Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery in the Book of Exodus in the Bible, were based.
But rather than explaining them as the wrathful act of a vengeful God, the scientists claim the plagues can be attributed to a chain of natural phenomena triggered by changes in the climate and environmental disasters that happened hundreds of miles away.
They have compiled compelling evidence that offers new explanations for the Biblical plagues, which will be outlined in a new series to be broadcast on the National Geographical Channel on Easter Sunday.
Archaeologists now widely believe the plagues occurred at an ancient city of Pi-Rameses on the Nile Delta, which was the capital of Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses the Second, who ruled between 1279BC and 1213BC.
The city appears to have been abandoned around 3,000 years ago and scientists claim the plagues could offer an explanation.


Hmm, cycles of warm and cold.



Link

I won't even mention the obvious parallel of AGW
religous fervor.





Thou shalt not drive suv.

Thou shalt not burn oil.

Honor thy earth.

etc.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
USA hot Austrailia cold more proof of man made climate change


OZ record cold my friend, as was posted last week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
USA hot Austrailia cold more proof of man made climate change
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
all data suggests no matter how many environmental restrictions are imposed, the mean temperature rises.


global project initiated:

*create man-made islands to grow conifer forests

count world wide total of existing conifers

find average increase in co2 rise

discover number of new conifers needed to balance co2/o to "normal" levels

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
edited
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
maybe algae is evolving

and causing mean co2 levels to rise in the oceans

maybe its been happening for a few thousand years slowly

maybe maybe maybe

measure, count, divide, request more grant money

rinse and repeat




Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Here are the temps for July 11 2011 Link here are the climate averages Link Austrailia cold
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
just going on my own experiences, its always been hot, seemingly record hot, in July in south Texas.

and that is memory records going back to 1987 when approximately the memory records began

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Quoting Neapolitan:

No, not the proof. Just one of many, many indicators. Of course, when the Great Denialist 21st Century Fantasy Cooldown gets underway one of these years, I'm sure there'll be a hugely disproportionate number of record lows to record highs. But for now, it is what it is.


start the countdown

12,345 years to go
Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Quoting PurpleDrank:
ok so somebody is counting the record highs and lows for specific locations

so what?



draw a bath everyday and test the water's ph level

the number will change sometimes day to day, sometimes it will remain constant

I also have a problem with daily highs and lows records. The jet stream can govern temperature fluctuations. So temperature records on specific days could be marginalized by air currents, and a numerous amount of other components.

Let's say in XYZ, Kansas on July 12, 2003 it was raining that day, then on July 12, 2005 there was a wildfire nearby, then on July 12, 2010 there was a city BBQ festival going on, etc..

This is the burden of proof for AGW?


No, not the proof. Just one of many, many indicators. Of course, when the Great Denialist 21st Century Fantasy Cooldown gets underway one of these years, I'm sure there'll be a hugely disproportionate number of record lows to record highs. But for now, it is what it is.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
Quoting Neapolitan:

Well, nobody said we're doomed. But in a stable climate, one would expect record daily highs and record daily lows over an area the size of the United States to occur in roughly equal amounts on a yearly or decadal basis. But the ratio of highs to lows has been climbing at a faster rate with each passing decade, and unless things really start cooling down, this year is only going to make things for the 2010s even more lopsided.

For the record, yesterday marked the 48th out of the past 51 days that record highs in the U.S. outnumbered record lows. That one-sidedness should last at least one more week.


maybe the jet stream is not dipping as low as it did

my God, if it dips too low we get tropical storms, if it stays too high there is drought

seems like we've been doomed forever..so what's new?
Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
ok so somebody is counting the record highs and lows for specific locations

so what?



draw a bath everyday and test the water's ph level

the number will change sometimes day to day, sometimes it will remain constant

I also have a problem with daily highs and lows records. The jet stream can govern temperature fluctuations. So temperature records on specific days could be marginalized by air currents, and a numerous amount of other components.

Let's say in XYZ, Kansas on July 12, 2003 it was raining that day, then on July 12, 2005 there was a wildfire nearby, then on July 12, 2010 there was a city BBQ festival going on, etc..

This is the burden of proof for AGW?

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Cyclone could it be some of the animals run in cycles such as the ones for short periods. Example ruffed grouse decline and rise in regular cycles by a factor of 5 to a factor of 10 this cycle is not understood.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
how is this calculated?

comparison of temps on that specific day in history?

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Quoting PurpleDrank:
So far in July, daily high maximum records outnumber daily low minimum records by better than 5 to 1

OMG! High temperatures outweigh low temps..in JULY!! Who would have thought there would be more highs in the middle of summer..WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!..until December

i'm sure this is Northern Hemisphere we're talking about. how's the temp data in South America this time of year?



Well, nobody said we're doomed. But in a stable climate, one would expect record daily highs and record daily lows over an area the size of the United States to occur in roughly equal amounts on a yearly or decadal basis. But the ratio of highs to lows has been climbing at a faster rate with each passing decade, and unless things really start cooling down, this year is only going to make things for the 2010s even more lopsided.

For the record, yesterday marked the 48th out of the past 51 days that record highs in the U.S. outnumbered record lows. That one-sidedness should last at least one more week.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
So far in July, daily high maximum records outnumber daily low minimum records by better than 5 to 1

OMG! High temperatures outweigh low temps..in JULY!! Who would have thought there would be more highs in the middle of summer..WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!..until December

i'm sure this is Northern Hemisphere we're talking about. how's the temp data in South America this time of year?


Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 730
Point 1 please provide evidence of warming or cooling for the last several years excluding La-Nina and El-Nino. Point 2 as for the political thing I personally find both sides disgusting, all 24 hour news networks are complete garbage. Point 3 as to the ice extent comment the point I was trying to make is people selectively post information that agrees with their position while excluding the other side.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
Quoting nymore:
I have given you the charts from Hadley and NOAA no warming last several years. Australia cooler than normal South America cooler Unusual snow in the desert in Africa. Yes the North America in warmer but globally temperatures have not risen.

Yes, they have. Over the past decade. The past two decades. The past three decades...
Quoting nymore:
I would also like to mention this once again some people on this blog have to throw politics in everything namely you Neapolitan. While I may find Rupert Murdoch disgraceful at best it has no place here, Neapolitan you may want to look in the mirror you are just a Rupert Murdoch on the other side of the coin.

Not sure what that last comment means. But there's nothing political about expecting journalists to do their job. Now, if some are afraid that that means their own agenda-based "news" source may be found out, that's not political on anyone's part; it's just the truth.
Quoting nymore:
All that I ask is give both sides of the story, example for the last 30 years arctic ice extent is down and people here scream it all day long to prove their point, while over the same 30 year period antarctic ice extent is up but yet never posted why? Thank you for reading my rant.

Many times in this very forum, I and others have taken the time to patiently explain why there's a difference between Arctic Sea ice and Antarctica (hint: it's got a lot to do with the fact that the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, while Antarctica is land surrounded by ocean.) But for those with a simplistic view of the physical world who refuse to acknowledge there's a difference between the two locations--just as they refuse to acknowledge how warmer weather can put more moisture into the atmosphere and thus lead to heavier snows--there's no amount of patient and repeated explanation. They've convinced themselves that the world is flat, and no evidence will ever make them change their minds.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
I have given you the charts from Hadley and NOAA no warming last several years. Australia cooler than normal South America cooler Unusual snow in the desert in Africa. Yes North America is warmer but globally temperatures have not risen. The forest fire thing as a metric for climate change is crazy, fire is natures way of renewing it self we should only try to save houses from them and let the forest burn the way it is intended. A prime example is Yellowstone all we heard back then was how the forest would be destroyed for decades but the opposite has happened and scientists have been amazed at the turn around. I would also like to mention this once again some people on this blog have to throw politics in everything namely you Neapolitan. While I find Rupert Murdoch disgraceful at best it has no place here, Neapolitan you may want to look in the mirror you are just a Rupert Murdoch on the other side of the coin. All that I ask is give both sides of the story, example for the last 30 years arctic ice extent is down and people here scream it all day long to prove their point, while over the same 30 year period antarctic ice extent is up but yet never posted why? Thank you for reading my rant.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.