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"Michael Mann on Hurricane Harvey" Topic


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272 hits since 1 Sep 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Martin from Canada01 Sep 2017 11:55 a.m. PST


It's a fact: climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly
We can't say that Hurricane Harvey was caused by climate change. But it was certainly worsened by it

What can we say about the role of climate change in the unprecedented disaster that is unfolding in Houston with Hurricane Harvey? There are certain climate change-related factors that we can, with great confidence, say worsened the flooding.
What we know so far about tropical storm Harvey

Sea level rise attributable to climate change some of which is due to coastal subsidence caused by human disturbance such as oil drilling is more than half a foot (15cm) over the past few decades (see here for a decent discussion). That means the storm surge was half a foot higher than it would have been just decades ago, meaning far more flooding and destruction.

In addition to that, sea surface temperatures in the region have risen about 0.5C (close to 1F) over the past few decades from roughly 30C (86F) to 30.5C (87F), which contributed to the very warm sea surface temperatures (30.5-31C, or 87-88F).

There is a simple thermodynamic relationship known as the Clausius-Clapeyron equation that tells us there is a roughly 3% increase in average atmospheric moisture content for each 0.5C of warming. Sea surface temperatures in the area where Harvey intensified were 0.5-1C warmer than current-day average temperatures, which translates to 1-1.5C warmer than "average" temperatures a few decades ago. That means 3-5% more moisture in the atmosphere.[…]
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ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

DH bait…again

goragrad01 Sep 2017 1:20 p.m. PST

An unprecedented tie for 14th in intensity -

image

As population grows and inflation makes building and repairs cost more the damage figures for otherwise comparable storms will rise regardless of the true severity of the storm.

From Climate, Etc. -

Harvey will be in the record books for almost unbelievable amounts of rainfall (the final tally is not in yet; unfortunately it will still be raining in TX for several more days, with potential doubling of the amount that has already fallen). While there was a large amount of water vapor ingested into Harvey, the huge amounts of rain are associated with Harvey's stalled movement, while still close enough to the Gulf to continue to suck in moisture.

Of course that was a cold front that Harvey hit and stalled on. Apparently we need to get more warming so cold fronts don't create these problems.

Martin from Canada01 Sep 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

Fixed the link, it got corrupted by the en of the quote.

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More relevant to goragrad:

The stalling is due to very weak prevailing winds, which are failing to steer the storm off to sea, allowing it to spin around and wobble back and forth. This pattern, in turn, is associated with a greatly expanded subtropical high pressure system over much of the US at the moment, with the jet stream pushed well to the north. This pattern of subtropical expansion is predicted in model simulations of human-caused climate change.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 7:19 p.m. PST

Lol. Geesh already using this to further their politics. This is worse than ambulance-chasing.

Fact, floods happen. Even the driest deserts have known flooding of one sort or another throughout their history. And floods can never be blamed on a single cause (like global warming).

It Stuck Around Too Long
This was an 800-1000 year* flood event, so people shouldn't be talking (or building) as if this was never going to happen. Harvey came to visit and stayed in the same exact area far too long. If it had continued on its way we would have been just fine.

Built Up Land
The more pavement and concrete we put down, the more water retention areas should be built. That's why our house didn't flood in 2001 despite getting 36 inches of rain in 3 days with Tropical Storm Allison (which also stuck around, like Harvey). But there is less open land today than in 2001. Much less.

Bad Decisions
And, if you click on this next link you'll see what my neighborhood still looks like tonight, mainly because the Army Corps of Engineers hesitated too long to release water from our side of the levee. So by the time all the canals crested and brought new water in from the North, the water had nowhere to go, and the street flooding turned into flooded houses. So the rain alone wasn't the problem. People were also making bad last minute decisions or taking too long to make good ones.

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Dan
* Which, simply put, translates to one tenth of one percent chance of this happening on any given year.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 4:19 a.m. PST

Geesh already using this to further their politics. This is worse than ambulance-chasing.

I couldn't find any of that in the article. Dan, can you point out where this "ambulance chasing" is? I seem to have missed it.

I do sincerely hope your property and possessions are fine and things can get back to normal as quick as possible. I live on a small lake and have had a few small floods myself, but of course nothing on this scale. Best wishes to you, your family and neighbours.

Edit: just saw the picture of your neighbourhood. Dan, I'm so sorry.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 9:47 a.m. PST

Bowman: "I couldn't find any of that in the article. Dan, can you point out where this "ambulance chasing" is? I seem to have missed it."

This is one of a few articles that came out to immediately use Harvey as an example of global warming. That's where I get the sense that some of these people were already poised to jump.

I really appreciate your thoughts and good wishes. I think the magnitude of of the work ahead of us is finally sinking in today.

Dan

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

First off:

This is one of a few articles that came out to immediately use Harvey as an example of global warming.

Be that as it may, Mann goes to pains in the last paragraph of the article to set this straight. Read it and you'll agree.

I think the magnitude of of the work ahead of us is finally sinking in today.

Keep us appraised of how you and your neighbourhood are doing. I just can't imagine what the clean up situation will be. Plus the insurance headaches. It puts things like toy soldiers and arguments on the Science Board in perspective. When do you get to return?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

According to a neighbor with a boat, the water inside our house may have finally dropped to about 6 inches, but the streets still have 3 or 4 feet. At this rate it will be mid-week or later before we can drive there and salvage some of the most important things. But we can't begin tearing down the walls and removing debris until the sidewalk is dry. That's where the debris needs to be placed for the county to pick up, between the curb and the sidewalk.

I'm sorry. Now I'm just rambling. I've been like that today. So sorry.

Dan

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 4:20 p.m. PST

We were told that Katrina was just the beginning of AGW caused killer hurricanes. Looks like they ran into a little funding issue to produce the sequel. Let's hope it takes just as long for the next installment.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 5:19 p.m. PST

I'm sorry. Now I'm just rambling. I've been like that today. So sorry.

No need to apologize. It's totally understandable.

mandt2 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 7:28 p.m. PST

Statistically speaking U.S. hurricanes are probably not the best things on which to base a climate change discussion. Since there is an average of about six Atlantic hurricanes per year, and only an average of two actually make U.S. landfall, there just isn't enough data to show a reliable trend.

link

But if you look at the number of storms worldwide, you can see some interesting trends.

link

Most obvious to me is that while there are a small number of storms worldwide that make it onto the "most powerful" list" from 50 or more years ago, the overwhelming number of the most powerful top storms have occurred since.

Keep in mind. America is not the center of the world climate universe. In fact American climate is a very small piece of the whole pie and may or may not be representative of the whole.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse04 Sep 2017 9:49 p.m. PST

It's a fact: climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly

No it did not.

Right now it doesn't even make the top 30 in deaths.

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Oh and as floods go it really doesn't even come close.

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Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 5:01 a.m. PST

Right now it doesn't even make the top 30 in deaths.

As usual your comments don't even address the fact that AGW exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Read up on the Clausius-Clapeyron equation first.

Just because Harvey didn't end up in the top 30, doesn't mean it wasn't made more deadly by the local conditions mentioned in the OP (which I'm guessing you didn't read).

Oh and as floods go it really doesn't even come close.

Ya, great list. I notice only a very few are caused by hurricanes and typhoons (one was a mudslide). Nice try.

Do you know what the logical fallacy "false equivalency" is?

And using Mithmee logic, the St. Aarons flood in Amsterdam, 1420 killed 420 people. How do you know? Did you know any of the dead? Did you meet any survivors? Did you take a time machine back and count the victims? That's not REAL data! I want REAL data! See how stupid that sounds now?

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse05 Sep 2017 6:16 p.m. PST

Only when you take Real Data and try to make it look fake.

Harvey caused flooding and damage in an area that was prone to flooding.

I have ash falling in my area due to the many fires that were cause by lightning and not humans,

Oh and with that much ash in the air I would expect weather to be quite different.

See I know what causes the weather to change while you want to ride the Global Warming wagon.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2017 6:46 p.m. PST

……..while you want to ride the Global Warming wagon.

You mean like I like to ride the heliocentric wagon, and the germ theory wagon, and the evolution wagon, and the non flat Earth wagon, and the vaccines don't cause autism wagon and any of the other wagons that scientists have a general, widespread agreement on?

Charlie 1207 Sep 2017 6:07 p.m. PST

Harvey caused flooding and damage in an area that was prone to flooding.

Not entirely correct. What caused the excessive flooding was Harvey getting stalled (due to a cold front immediately north of its path). Having a cyclonic storm with that much water sit in one place is going to cause massive flooding, flood plain or not. Hurricanes that cross the Gulf coast will normally continue north (sometimes all the way to the Ohio valley) spreading their rain over a much wider area.

Charlie 1207 Sep 2017 6:15 p.m. PST

@Dan- Hope things are improving. Hang in there and take it one day at a time. It will get better (just takes awhile). And don't be a hero; if it gets too emotionally heavy, ask for help (that's what its there for). And, of course, we're pulling for you here.

Went through my own similar mess during the last wildfire down here; our place was burned literally to the ground, nothing but ashes left. The GF and I got out with basically with the clothes on our backs. Took awhile, but we recovered.

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