Increased Storm Intensity due to Climate Change



Texas just got slammed with a bad hurricane, with much more rain on the way. From the photos from WaPo, the flooding looks horrific; our thoughts go to those stuck in the deluge.

The new FEMA director just said Harvey is probably the worst natural disaster in Texas history; its already the worst flood in Houston history.

Some of the people who voted against Hurricane Sandy aid have already asked for Federal assistance before the storm hit. (those who voted against Sandy Aid should be called out for that bad vote, but the people of Texas should not be punished for that). Of course Federal assistance should be made available for these natural disasters — that is what we do as Americans.

We know there is a complex relationship between AGW and storm strength and frequency, and while exact science is still emerging, there has been an increase in the destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Storms of greater intensity are expected; scientific evidence suggests hurricane intensity and flooding may be increasing due to warmer tropical sea surface temperature (SST); some have said any connection to Atlantic hurricane frequency is inconclusive.

My irrational, lingering, post-Sandy anger aside, here are a few interesting graphics about rising floodwaters in the USA and around the world:


Sea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for Coastal Cities
click for interactive graphic

Source: Climate Central



20 cities have the most to lose from rising sea levels
click for ginormous graphic

Source: Washington Post



UPDATE: 12:58pm  FEMA director says Harvey is probably the worst disaster in Texas history


UPDATE 2 3:58 pm: Charity Navigator has already set up a page with recommended relief agencies working to help those hit by Hurricane Harvey.


UPDATE 3 5:08pm: Google set up a donation widget here; or just search for Hurricane Harvey

It seems to be half way down the page on any search:


Here is who they work with:

Google partners with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, which receives and distributes the money to effective, local relief efforts


UPDATE 4 6:02pm: Apple adds Red Cross disaster relief to the iTunes music store:



I am going to move this thread to its own post

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