Harvey barreled into Texas on August 25th of 2017. Over the next six
days, it dumped 52 inches of rain across parts of the state, resulted
in 800,000 calls for water rescue, caused 80 souls to be lost, and
inflicted over 190 billion dollars in damages.
was the most damaging storm ever to strike the U.S. It was more
costly than Katrina and Sandy combined. And recent studies now show
that this damage, in large part, was due to climate change’s
influence over the storm.
just prior to making landfall on the Southeast coast of Texas. Image
to base climatology, we can expect this kind of event to occur onceevery 9,000 years. But living in base climatology we are not. Due to
fossil fuel burning, atmospheric CO2 levels are above 405 parts per
million — levels not seen in at least the past 2.5 million years.
Meanwhile, total greenhouse gas forcing (after you add in methane and
other heat trapping gasses) is at levels not seen in around 15
million years. So we’re now in a world that’s pretty different
from what we are used to. A more dangerous world.
different and how much more dangerous is a measure of some debate.
More to the point, the question of how much the presently serious
alteration to the world’s climate impacts the world’s weather is
a pretty hot topic. What we already know is that the weather is
becoming more extreme, more damaging, and that the most intense
storms and droughts are growing worse.
of record breaking daily rainfall events are increasing as the Earth
warms. New science is starting to attribute aspects of individual
extreme events to human caused climate change. Image source:
Increased Record Breaking Daily Rainfall Events Under Global
boiling it all down to a single storm like Harvey, how much can you
blame on climate change? Well, that’s starting to become clearer
thanks to a pair of new scientific studies.
these peer-reviewed studies are correct, their findings point toward
a rather stunning conclusion — the storm was much more likely to
form due to climate change and the storm was made much more intense
after it formed due to climate change.
essence, the new science finds that climate change’s influence
finger prints are all over Harvey’s devastating impact. Folks
around the world take note. Your severe weather has been