Recent tropical storm damage in South Carolina, has been labeled by the media as a 1000 year flood. That is totally bogus. While the flood damage was devastating, it was not a once in 1000 year event. Similar catastrophic weather events are becoming common all across the US, and the southeast is no exception. In 1989, hurricane Hugo made landfall in Charleston, South Carolina, with devastating effect. (more…)
Much of the discussion about the long term effects of Climate Change center around various natural disasters. Drought, floods, hurricanes and wildfires are the hot topics. While these direct effects are definitely things to be concerned about, there are several less obvious issues that may well turn out to have more severe and insidious consequences.
Let’s deal with the simple and obvious problems first. Heat waves, which is by far the most lethal weather phenomenon. Europe was introduced to its Climate Change future during the 2003 Heat Wave. There were 70,000 deaths related to this heat wave. In an area with a similar population to the US. 14,000 deaths in France alone. France does not typically have hot summers, so it has a lower installed base of air conditioning. Also, the heat wave happened in August, the peak vacation period in western Europe. All across Europe, the elderly were affected disproportionately. (more…)
I have to admit to being a little biased here. I lived in Australia, mostly Melbourne, from 1972 though 1986 and found it to be a wonderful place. Not completely without problems, but in the big scheme of things, a place where we can learn some valuable lessons. Melbourne, a city of more than 4 million, had its act together.
In more recent times, southern Australia, and Melbourne in particular, has had to deal with the Millennium Drought, which lasted from 1995 through 2009. The last areas affected were not declared drought free until May of 2012. (more…)
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the California drought. The situation has become so dire that Governor Jerry Brown has instituted wide ranging restrictions on water use. It’s important for the rest of the country because a significant percentage of the vegetables and nuts consumed in the US originate in California. So, are food prices going up? Will there be an exodus of Californians into neighboring states, reversing the Dust Bowl migrations? Is the drought the result of climate change? What are the not so obvious lessons to be learned? (more…)