Science Says WE Can ALL Expect Much More CATASTROPHIC Flooding in OUR Climate Casino

Science Says WE Can ALL Expect Much More CATASTROPHIC Flooding in OUR Climate Casino // Aug 24, 2021

Welcome to the Climate Casino.

A few days ago a region just west of Nashville, Tennessee in the grand ole’ USA ran out of luck in the climate casino. Over 17 inches (432.3 mm) of torrential rainfall within one day created a wall of water almost like a tidal wave, sweeping away people’s cars, homes, and businesses; worst hit was in town of Waverly (population 4,100). The Piney River rose from a nominal height of 4.3 feet (1.3 m) to a historic crest of 31.8 feet (9.69 m) six hours later; most of this rise occurred in 3 to 4 hours, as measured by a river gauge. Much of the community was cut off from elsewhere by impassible roads even after the water retreated.

The problem is that this level of rainfall in a very short period of time can occur almost anywhere in our climate casino. A few months ago, in July, the exact same thing happened in Europe, flooding out many riverside towns that have been standing for centuries. Several hundred people died; many homes and cars were completely swept away.

The Arctic is warming way faster than lower latitudes, so the temperature contrast between the Arctic and lower latitudes is getting smaller. Thus, the jet streams are getting much slower and wavier and even getting stuck into ridges (under which there are heat waves and droughts) or troughs (above which there are many storms and torrential rains). Slower jet streams mean storms move across the Earth surface more slowly, so have longer time to dump rain in any given storm.

On our warmer planet, there is more evaporation from lakes, rivers, and oceans; leading, in fact to 7% more water vapour in the atmosphere. This water vapour rises and condenses into clouds, releasing huge amounts of stored energy (latent heat), fuelling ever more intense storms with torrential rains.

Just wait until there is no Arctic Sea Ice left in a few years; there will be a skyrocketing of Arctic Temperatures and even more chaotic jet streams. Without jet streams to guide storms, our weather patterns will become much more monsoonal.


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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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