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Extreme Storms Like Harvey and Climate Change: 'This Is the New Reality'

Extreme Storms Like Harvey and Climate Change: 'This Is the New Reality'

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Texas—and as the death toll from monsoon flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh surpasses 1,200—experts are putting a spotlight on how climate change is linked to the "unprecedented" storm's devastation.

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There were terrible hurricanes before the planet warmed so this is a tough one. So, even if we somehow get below 350 ppm these type of events will not end. But climate change does make a bad situation worse when it comes to hurricanes and typhoons. Last year the Pacific had some record breaking typhoons those storms tend to be even stronger than North Atlantic hurricanes. One obvious way that hurricanes could be become more of a threat is that warmer water in the Atlantic could allow hurricanes to maintain their strength going up the Atlantic coast and slam into the highly populated northeast areas as major hurricanes, category 3-5… Because of the much warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico these powerful are not that uncommon in that region. About a decade ago three of them formed in one year. If sea level rises by a few feet this century as predicted that will have a dramatic effect n increasing flooding due to storm surge. This storm was so devastating because it stalled. That doesn’t seem to be related to climate change. Hurricane Sandy made a direct hit on New Jersey because high pressure did not let it go out into the Atlantic and the high pressure might have been related to climate change. With growing populations near coastal areas the effects of storms were going to get worse without climate change but with climate change there will be even much more damage than otherwise.

Great post. Good to point out that these extreme events are worsened by factors of climate change (i.e., increased sea level, warmer ocean, etc).

What an ignorant comment.
Haven’t you been reading the scientific opinions on this event?

Did you even read the article? "Another potential link to climate change is how the storm is stalling near the coast, allowing it to continue to wreak havoc, in a pattern “associated with a greatly expanded subtropical high pressure system over much of the U.S. at the moment, with the jet stream pushed well to the north.” THE STORM STALLED BECAUSE OF CHANGES IN THE JET STREAM AS A RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGE! Climate change is not a thing, it is here now and is affecting the weather every day. Come back when you have educated yourself. All of this is related to, and exacerbated by climate change.


This article (http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/05/abrupt-warming-how-much-and-how-fast.html), posted in May of this year asserts:

With little or no action taken on global warming, it appears that the Anthropocene will lead to extinction of the very human beings after which the era is named, with the Anthropocene possibly running from 1950 to 2021, i.e. a mere 71 years and much too short to constitute an era. In that case a better name for the period would be the Sixth Extinction Event . . . .

If we’re headed for extinction by 2021, how will it be POSSIBLE to transition to “safe” energy sources?!

50 inches isn’t the new normal, not yet. The new normal will be here in a few decades. That will be the real problem.

I don’t believe in the worst case climate forecast, if only because humans are innovative and proactive. However, we’re going to need far more than 100% conversion to renewables. We’ll also need to sequester many gigatons of carbon, we’ll need to restore the Arctic Ocean’s ice pack to prevent a teraton-sized natural methane and carbon dioxide release, and we’ll want to preserve most of the earth’s biodiversity from mass extinction.

Here’s humanity’s problem: approximately zero dollars are being spent on research, development and deployment for these specific problems. Development of a number of other key renewables innovations, the medium-hanging fruit, are also going begging.

Individual corporations seem to only want to harvest the low-hanging fruit for their own immediate profits. Capitalism loves the “using existing methods” mantra because it means that new disruptive technologies will never come along to threaten their current investments.

I’ve seen a bumper sticker, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance.” In the case of climate change, We”, not a specific mom and dad but this entire generation, will be doing just that to anyone born after about 2010, unless we go for the medium-hanging fruit.

Why the boiling frogs love their inertia, I’m not sure.


Extinction by 2021 is the first article I’ve seen that clearly overestimates the velocity of climate change. The oceans and the ground are vast heat sinks, slowing the positive climate feedback loops down. We tend to see climate change feedback loop results in our oceans about 30 years after Eaarth’s atmosphere changes.

That said, there are geologic records of the ocean rising 30 feet within (at the outside) a 50 year period.

I disagree with using a polynomial curve to fit the data.

Watch for the endless stream of obfuscations and manipulation from the political zealots mistakenly referred to as the center. “No, of course, hurricanes can’t be worsened by more energy in the atmosphere, warmer ocean waters, more moisture in the air, nor ‘stalled’ weather systems caused by climate change.” These dark lords rewrite the laws of thermodynamics and human decency daily, as they put hands over hearts and sing in praise of the corporate theocracy that rules by paying their bills and controlling their vocal chords. They call it ‘freedom’.
Their gospel is the Book of Money & Power, with the cryptic name Eerf Msilatipac, now installed as the most important book in the modern Bible, ‘transfiguring’ all the previous gospels into this more accurate message from Jesus. Bow down all and serve unquestioningly! “It’s the only way to salvation!”

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As an American that has lived in South Asia for three decades, I have seen the devastation caused by typhoons and flooding. It is much more than a 30 seconds blip to be ignored on the MSM evening broadcast. The floods here are not an occasional happening like Katrina and Harvey but and annual event with the poor getting punched in the gut time and time again. The next time you think, “Why don’t they just move?” first answer where and with what resources. Remember the mothers crying over the loss of their shanties that held everything they had with no one from the government coming to help contrasted with taxpayer funded US Federal Flood Insurance supplying money for people to replace their million dollar homes on the shores of New Jersey. The USA is and has been the #1 cause of the misery manifesting itself a world away. I keep hearing about American values. Well those values never seem to extend beyond myopic, nationalistic thinking.

As much as I say that climate change will have drastic effects on life on this planet, extinction by 2021 is not seen as possible by most scientists. Now is it possible that in a few years there will be no arctic ice during the summer which would help raise the temperature. But 10 degrees C? There is a lot of methane that will be released as the permafrost melts and it is melting faster than they thought it would.
But this has been going on for some time now, well over a couple of decades and no sudden spike in temperature has happened. At the rate it has been going, 2050 is a better bet for the temperature to be 3-4 degrees C rise in addition the to the 1 degree C rise already. Which is still bad, but not extinction level.
The problem is that the reality is that the permafrost is melting down to about 3-4 feet now in alaska, which is from 50-150 meters thick at fairbanks and up to 650 meters in the far north. Now how much of the permafrost can be melted before a runaway methane release happens which will raise the temperature? Because on the current track, it will happen, whether it is decades down the road or sooner.
The problem they state is true and the result will be most likely a rapid rise in temperature. I keep track of the data that the scientists about temperatures, salinity of the oceans, etc because we are entering uncharted territory for the human race. How fast and damaging is not clear, which the deniers use as evidence that climate change is not real. It is the only unsettled part of climate change, how far before we hit the brick wall and how fast will it be.
But we will hit that brick wall someday and at enough of a speed that kills. My belief is that as we get closer and the climate changes enough to hurt us hard, that we will turn on each other and most likely destroy ourselves in war before we reach extinction level temperatures.

The part I disagree with is Humans being proactive, other than war we tend not to look at the future and really plan. I am sure that with our adaptability that some humans will survive, but no way we will have the numbers we have today. It won’t be billions of us, maybe millions depending on how bad it gets.

These climate change related disasters, in a sense, create a feedback loop of their own. It takes a lot of natural resources and fossil fuels to rebuild these cities and towns.

Now our governments can be reactive. If we found the money to pick up the victims and stuff them into little FEMA trailers, then we can find the money either for bigger boats for this gross task next time, or we can fund the R&D, whichever is cheaper.

This catastrophe in S. Texas fits the definition of " stranded costs ". The government working with wealthy corporations and individuals to strand and drown, or bankrupt, hundreds thousands of people for their continuing comfort.
" Who would Jesus drown? " is the question that has to be asked after this mega-disaster in S. Texas. Because, they’ve known for decades ( hell, lots of smart people have known ) and our kleptocratic gov’t has done nothing or very little. Accept spend and waste many trillions of dollars on _____________( fill in your favorite kleptocratic folly here ).
" The general welfare and the common good " my ‘effin’ aching ass. Give me a break. What a sad joke. Sssssseeeeessshhhhhh!!!

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" Haven’t you been reading the scientific opinions on this event?"

That seems to be the whole problem with the climate, change deniers!

Everybody Wants to Get out of Town A song about climate change…


We are always reactive. Spending the money now to avoid the future disasters, that would be too common sense. Doesn’t everyone realize how broke we are? Oh wait another war is coming, got to spend more on the military. But we have nothing for anything else.
I was listening to the newshour PBS and this conservative was saying that the federal government shouldn’t be paying the bill, that the states should be paying for it. Everyone for themselves. Why have government at all if we are all just for ourselves?