Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
To Extremes Dossier on Floods

To Extremes Dossier on Floods

|Views: 0|Likes:
Published by Eli Kintisch

More info:

Published by: Eli Kintisch on Dec 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





The Science of Extremes:
Floods are caused by:
 Abnormally intense, fast, long-lasting or heavy rainfall, including spring rains that meltsnow fast
Changes in the surface conditions of the earth, such assea level rise
The number of water- related disasters has increased at global scale in recent years.
( Adikariand Yoshitani, 2009) 
 A warmer atmosphere will mean amore moistatmosphere. But whether climate change willmean more floods globally is unclear:
 “There is
medium evidence 
available to assess climate-driven observed
changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods at regional scales…Furthermore,
there is
low agreement 
in this evidence, and thus overall
low confidence 
at the global
scale regarding even the sign of these changes.” 
 (Extreme Events report summary, 2011) 
 “Projected precipitation and temperature changes imply possible changes in floods,
althoughoverall there is
low confidence 
in projections of changes in [river] floods.
Confidence is
due to
limited evidence 
and because the causes of regional changesare complex, although there are exceptions to this statement.
There is
medium confidence 
(based on physical reasoning) that projected increases in heavyrainfall would contribute to increases in local flooding, in some catchments or
(Extreme Events report summary, 2011) 
 “It is
very likely 
that mean sea level rise will contribute to upward trends in extreme coastalhigh water levels in the future
.” Small island states are in serious trouble.
 “There is
high confidence 
that locations currently experiencing adverse impacts such ascoastal erosion and inundation will continue to do so in the future due to increasing sealevels, all other contributing factors being equal. The
very likely 
contribution of meansea level rise to increased extreme coastal high water levels, [along with more powerful
hurricanes] is a specific issue for tropical small island states.” 
(Extreme Events report summary, 2011) 
There is
high confidence 
that changes in heat waves, glacial retreat and/or permafrostdegradation will affect high mountain phenomena such as slope instabilities, movements of mass, and glacial lake outburst floods.
There is also
high confidence 
that changes in heavy precipitation will affect landslides insome regions.
(Extreme Events report summary, 2011) Snow and floods
There is abundant evidence that winter snow will melt earlier in the spring or late winterthan it has in the past. Earlier snowmelt could cause harmful floods in regions nearsnow. But, in a warmer world snowfall might decrease, reducing snowpack. Thesedetails will likely vary from region to region. (Climate Change and Water, 2008) 
Sea level rise will worsen coastal flooding
 A study assuming relatively moderate sea level rise by 2050 of 15 cm found that thenumber of people in the world living in zones vulnerable to coastal flooding (definedhere)would go up by 18 million people, or 26%. (See chart below.)
Were polar ice-sheets to undergo
 “tipping point” melt events, even more people would
be exposed (fifth column.)
Poor people are more vulnerable to flood events in general than rich people
In Maputo, Mozambique, the urban poor, for example, tend to live in commonly floodedareas because the land is either very cheap or free (this is common in urban developingareas). Floods not only destroy their homes, but tend to spread disease and pollutants.
Subsistence farmers depend on each year’s harvest.
Floods and cyclones can severely damage crops, for e
 xample in Nairobi’s informal
settlements, where flash flooding has hit people living in poorly constructedstructures alongside rivers.
Scientists predict increase in heavy precipitation in East Africa.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->