“There is no place in the United States where you shouldn’t be resetting your expectations about Mother Nature disrupting your life,” said Roy Wright, president of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and former head of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. “Climate change has come barging through the front doors of America.”
The flooding in Waverly, Tennessee has no precedent in the historic record. Retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hydrologist Geoffrey Bonnin said the chance of so much rain falling in such a short period is less than 1 in 1,000.
Friday August 12: The heavy rainfall, expected to continue through Friday night, has brought about 20 inches (510mm) of rain to areas of Hubei since Wednesday, officials said. Four people were missing in addition to the 21 deaths in the township of Liulin, according to local news reports.
Climate change is warming the Arabian Sea. The higher water temperatures are causing the air above to become warmer and hold more moisture.
“We are seeing a three-fold rise in widespread extreme rainfall events since 1950”. A hill station south of Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar, reported 594 millimetres of rain on Friday—the highest since the start of records a century ago.
A year’s worth of rain – 640mm – fell in just three days.
“This is not a localised freak event, it is definitely part of a coherent global pattern.”
Lapland and parts of Siberia also sweltered in record-breaking June heat, and cities in India, Pakistan and Libya have endured unusually high temperatures in recent weeks. Suburbs of Tokyo have been drenched in the heaviest rainfall since measurements began and a usual month’s worth of July rain fell on London in a day. Events that were once in 100 years are becoming commonplace. Freak weather is increasingly normal.
Some experts fear the recent jolts indicate the climate system may have crossed a dangerous threshold. Instead of smoothly rising temperatures and steadily increasing extremes, they are examining whether the trend may be increasingly “nonlinear” or bumpy as a result of knock-on effects from drought or ice melt in the Arctic. This theory is contentious, but recent events have prompted more discussion about this possibility and the reliability of models based on past observations.
Flooding in New York City “has already become more frequent than in the past, and as long as we continue to warm the planet, we can expect more of this, not less”.