Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Now Scott, You Can't Blame THIS on Global Climate Change...

I hear you now, this is a flood, you can't blame this on climate change.
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Well.. maybe or maybe not.  As everyone should know (but Fox News keeps forgetting) no SINGLE weather item can be blamed on global climate change (just as an early snow doesn't mean there is no global warming).  There are a number of reasons that global climate change might have contributed to this, but that isn't necessarily important.
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What can definitely be traced to global climate change is the impact of this rain and how it turned into a biblical flood.  For this I ask you to remember back 2 or 3 years - not that far - everyone still hated Obama.
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Remember the bark beetle?  Anyone?  Bueller?.. Bark Beetle?  Doesn't ring a bell?
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Pine Bark Beetle Damage - Cause of the recent Arizona Horrible Fires
The Bark Beetle is a beetle that kills pine trees.  It's range has spread due to global climate change (less frosts and sub-freezing temps).  It has killed trees from Southern California (Lake Arrowhead) to the high Rockies (including Colorado).  So dead pine trees.
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Then..., just last year and the year before, the 1 in 100 year fires.  Fires with extra kindling due to the bark beetle and dead pines.  Remember.  And it was part of a drought (which, like the flood cannot be blamed only on climate change, but it was a part of it).  A drought + dead pine trees = 1 in 100 year fire events.
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Those of you not from fire prone hills may not get the next connection, but stay with me.  When there are rains on steep hills / mountains, the root systems - at least healthy root systems - mitigate the problem.  First the root systens trap water that goes into the soil, reducing run off.  Second they hold onto the trees, bushes and rocks slowly runoff of any water not trapped in the soil.  But in Colorado, that same heavy rain on fire denuded slopes (i.e. without healthy root systems) races off and wipes out areas down stream.
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How can you tell the difference?  Well, in areas without healthy root systems, the peak flood arrives almost immediately after the rains (as has been happening in Colorado lately).  In areas with healthy root systems the peak flood stage may follow days or weeks later as supersaturated soil gives the water back to the river systems - as happens in Wisconsin and New Jersey.
Put it all together and you have devastation
In California, you don't need the fancy schamcy way of checking.  Every school kid knows... Fire, Rain, Mudslides.  (Mudslides because the first has destroyed the plants that hold the soil.)
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It's funny that global climate change is turning the entire nation into Southern California minus the good weather.

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