Freak Weather

Linking UK floods and climate change: A discussion notable by its absence?

UK Flood Warnings: Source: Met OfficeUK Flood Warnings: Source: Met OfficeThe UK is suffering extreme torrential rain, storm surge and extensive flooding. Few people in the media are connecting the dots to climate change. Mat Hope & Roz Pidcock in this original story from Carbon Brief outline the connections.

The UK is in the midst of extremely wet weather. The Met Office has issued flood warning for almost all of the UK. But despite scientific evidence linking climate change to an increased risk of flooding, politicians and the media seem unwilling to make the connection.

Flooding is one of the biggest natural threats in the UK and climate change is predicted to raise that risk. Why? Rising temperatures mean the atmosphere can hold more moisture, which means rain falls in heavier bursts.

Related: Flood-hit UK must prepare for more extreme weather, says climate adviser (Guardian)

Australia: - new site tracks heatwaves

Australia: 2013 Hottest September on record: Map by BOMAustralia: 2013 Hottest September on record: Map by BOMBy Sarah Perkins

It's a scorcher: new site tracks heatwaves across Australia

Freak Flooding in Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh


Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime

By Rodne Galicha. See original article in Sydney Morning Herald published November 15, 2013 

Typhoon Haiyan speaks to us of climate inaction, injustice, apathy and irresponsibility.

Super typhoon Haiyan strongest on record with over 10,000 feared dead in Philippines

Super typhoon HaiyanSuper typhoon HaiyanOn the eve of the annual United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) meeting in Warsaw Poland, an extreme weather disaster has struck the Philippines with record-breaking Super-typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), bringing devastating winds and storm surge.

Over 10,000 people are feared dead ,according to several media reports like this one in the Sydney Morning Herald, just in the province of Leyte, where the regional city of Tacloban, population of 221,000, was right in the path of the northern hurricane eye wall experiencing the full ferocity of destructive winds and tsunami like storm surge of over 5 metres.

Related: Philippines negotiator: "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway" | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello

USA: Colorado extreme rainfall and flood event of 2013

Like many people around the world I watched and followed the astonishing rainfall and flood events in Colorado in September this year that resulted in at least 10 deaths, damaged some 18,000 homes, caused the evacuation of more than 10,000 people, washing away roads and bridges and isolating communities for a time. The rain and flood event is estimated to have caused $2 billion worth of damage.

The extent of the rainfall was unprecedented in meteorological records that stretch back a little more than 100 years. The extreme rainfall event has been described as a 1 in 1,000 year event. An Extremely rare combination of weather factors combining to produce the event.

Alberta Floods highlight a more active water cycle with climate change

Looking downtown from Riverfront Ave in Calgary, during the Alberta floods 2013 Photo: Ryan L. C. Quan / Wikicommons CC-by-SA-3.0Looking downtown from Riverfront Ave in Calgary, during the Alberta floods 2013 Photo: Ryan L. C. Quan / Wikicommons CC-by-SA-3.0An intense rainfall and storm event on June 20-21 has caused widespread flooding in the Canadian province of Alberta, encompassing much of the southern portion of the province including Canada's fourth largest city of Calgary. It is the worst flooding event in Alberta's recorded history, highlighting the more active hydrological cycle with climate change.

Over 120,000 people across the region were evacuated, 75,000 in Calgary (7% of the population), many now returning to flood damaged homes and businesses to start the clean up.

Australia: Bushfires strike with extreme heatwave blanketing most of continent

Image courtesy Australian Bureau of MeteorologyImage courtesy Australian Bureau of MeteorologyA heatwave covering 70 per cent of Australia that started on January 3 has sparked catastrophic bushfires. Tasmania has so far been the most devastated by fire with more than 100 houses and businesses razed, the Tasman peninsula cutoff, without power, and thousands evacuated by boat to Hobart. The Temperature soared in Hobart setting new records for highest daily minimum overnight temperature of 23.4C and a new maximum temperature of 41.3C.

Update Jan 8: Climate Change: Records tumble in extreme heatwave as temperature scale adjusted upwards while Prime Minister Julia Gillard links intensity of bushfires with climate change as NSW survives catastrophic fire conditions. Other states are also experiencing bushfires, but have so far brought the fires mostly under control. The heatwave is expected to last over a week with elevated temperatures particularly in inland areas. It is very unusual that a heat wave covers such a large area of the continent at one time, according to Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Australia's weather has switched to hot and dry after one of the wettest two year periods in Australia's history influenced by an extremely strong La Nina event.

Related: Youtube animation of forecast heatwave temperatures | Scientists outline human health limits of heat stress with Climate Change (May 2010) | Flooding rains now burning plains - Bushfire risk and climate change (Oct 2011) | Logging of Victorian mountain ash forests increases bushfire risk (Oct 2011) | Intact native Forests mitigate bushfire in a warming climate (Nov 2011) | CSIRO - Climate change impacts on fire weather

Philippines: Death toll from Typhoon Bopha rises as climate negotiator appeals for action

Update 8 December: Typhoon Bopha has turned back on the Philippines in the South China Sea and is expected to slam into the northern tip of the main island of Luzon on Sunday, threatening the Ilocos provinces and La Union area. The Typhoon has maintained it's intensity with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 160 kph with estimated rainfall amount from 15 to 25 mm per hour (heavy - intense) within the 400 km diameter of the Typhoon.

A state of national calamity has been declared by President Benigno Aquino to speed up the release of funds for rescue and retrieval operations.

Related: Landslide Blog - Evaluating the causes of the Typhoon Bopha / Pablo disaster | The Free - Climate Chaos caused Bopha/Pablo. Oil Companies to be Sued ??

From A week ago Category 5 tropical cyclone Typhoon Bopha (Locally known as Pablo) slammed into the Philippines island of Mindinao bringing death and destruction. The Typhoon storm track was the most southerly tropical cyclone ever recorded in the western Pacific and the strongest to hit the Philippines this year. The Philippines is subjected to typhoons on a regular basis, but systematic climate change is making them more intense and changing their paths of destruction.

Naderev Saño, head of the Philippines climate delegation at the Doha UNFCC climate talks described to Democracy Now, "The path of Typhoon Bopha is slightly more to the south of what struck Mindanao last year, but it is affecting the same areas. And it is sobering for us to know that a typhoon like this, that normally doesn’t hit that part of the country, in fact, this is a — in half a century, this is the first time that a typhoon that has crossed as south as Bopha."

U.S.: Hurrican Sandy - The New "Normal"

[Climate IMC has been malfunctioning for an extended period during which some critical climate news has taken place. Below is a brief overview of Hurricane Sandy -ed]

Some called it Frankenstorm Sandy, some Superstorm Sandy, needless to say Hurricane Sandy was the worst storm the New York Metro area and New Jersy has seen in decades, if not ever. Earlier in October many islands in the Carribean were devastated by the storm. As it made it's way north up the Atlantic coast of the U.S. it became apparent that Hurricane Sandy would turn to the west and slam directly into the densly populated Metro Area. Photos of the aftermath [here, here and here] give a sense of the destruction, but it's the stories [here,  and here] on the ground that describe the impact on people, the environment and other species.

While some referred to Hurricane sandy as a 100-year, or even a 500-hundred year storm, many climate watchers pointed out the obvious: a warmer climate facilitates stronger storms. And none other than respected climate scientists like James Hansen have the data. The devastation of Sandy on the New York Metro area now has even moderate politicians finally speaking up about climate change. That in the wake of three U.S. presidential debates where the word "climate" never even came up. Most people picking up what's left of their homes and lives on the east coast of the United States and in the Carribean probably think it's time to end climate silence now .

Related: Video Report: Frankenstorm Sandy a wakeup call on climate change for the USA?

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