Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

This Is Climate Change: Eight 500-Year Storms Since May *2015

The extreme weather events predicted for decades by climate scientists have been on parade in the Southern United States all year. Are we ready to say, "this is climate change"?
August 17, 2016, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
The Louisiana National Guard at work on a flooded roadway in Latt Lake in Grant Parish during March 2016.
The National Guard

[Updated August 18, 2016 - the headline was updated to reflect the correct duration of time.]

"Climate change is never going to announce itself by name. But this is what we should expect it to look like," according to an article by Jonah Engel Bromwich about the recent catastrophic flooding in Louisiana.

According to the narrative built by the article, the recent floods in Louisiana are just the latest in a series of extreme events that are resetting expectations about the severity weather events. It's hard to deny that weather events are worsening in Louisiana:

The flooding in Louisiana is the eighth event since May of last year in which the amount of rainfall in an area in a specified window of time matches or exceeds the NOAA predictions for an amount of precipitation that will occur once every five hundred years, or has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

As Engel Bromwich notes, it's not just Louisiana facing new levels of precipitation in short bursts of extreme weather, "five other states, most of them in the South, that have experienced deadly flooding in the last 15 months, including OklahomaTexasSouth Carolina and West Virginia." That local trend is contributing to a global fact of life, according to Engel Bromwich: "The third National Climate Assessment, released in 2014 by the United States Global Change Research Program, showed that 'the amount of rain falling in very heavy precipitation events' had been significantly above average since 1991."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email