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Politics
Global Warming Flooding Threat to Utilities Board - Quit Coal First, 8/16/17
By Bob Powell, 9/12/17

Yes, Global Warming is an Existential Threat to Life on Earth. Near term, it's a major threat for flooding and air travel. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are only the beginning of much more horrific flooding and destruction ... more devastation. It's vitally necessary that Colorado Springs do its share to address this problem ... get off coal ASAP ... close Drake ASAP.

This is my 3 minute PowerPoint presentation to the Colorado Springs Utilities Board on

Global Warming and Global Warming Denial are Major Threats: Message: Get Off Fossil Fuels, ASAP, especially Coal, 8/16/17 (Powerpoint). There are links to sources in the presentation. PDF with 6 slides/page.

The Message: Get off fossil fuels with all due haste ... starting with COAL!

Contents of this post: 
What a Coincidence!
Global Warming made Hurricane Harvey Worse
Get ready for more -- much more -- of the Hurricane Harvey kind of destruction
These 3 minute presentations take many hours of preparation

 

What a Coincidence!

Dangerous Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, its brunt targeting the Keys to Tampa, Washington Post, 9/9/17

A storm-surge warning was also issued for much of the South Florida and Central Florida coastlines, past Tampa on the west coast and Melbourne on the east coast. The Hurricane Center said this would bring the risk of "dangerous" and "life-threatening" inundation and that the threat was highest along Florida's southwest coast and in the Florida Keys, where it said the surge is expected to be "catastrophic."

On one of my slides I have this:

For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the U.S. coastline.

Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.

And so, with hurricanes like Harvey and Irma ... it's not just a "brisk wind" ... it's devastatingly stronger storms (thanks to warmer ocean and more atmospheric moisture) with hurricane force winds creating 10 - 15 foot storm surge.

Dangerous Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, its brunt targeting the Keys to Tampa, Washington Post, 9/9/17

A storm-surge warning was also issued for much of the South Florida and Central Florida coastlines, past Tampa on the west coast and Melbourne on the east coast. The Hurricane Center said this would bring the risk of "dangerous" and "life-threatening" inundation and that the threat was highest along Florida's southwest coast and in the Florida Keys, where it said the surge is expected to be "catastrophic."

So I give a presentation on sea level rise and the flooding danger and then:

Houston is experiencing its third ‘500-year' flood in 3 years. How is that possible? By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, 8/29/17

Hurricane Harvey has brought "500-year" rainfall and flood conditions to the Houston area, according to officials at the Harris County Flood Control District.

As of August 31, widespread areas around Houston have experienced flooding reaching 1,000-year thresholds or more.

Harvey is a 1,000-year flood event unprecedented in scale By Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 8/31/17

As Harvey’s rains unfolded, the intensity and scope of the disaster were so enormous that weather forecasters, first responders, the victims, everyone really, couldn’t believe their eyes. Now the data are bearing out what everyone suspected: This flood event is on an entirely different scale than what we’ve seen before in the United States.

A new analysis from the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center has determined that Harvey is a 1-in-1,000-year flood event that has overwhelmed an enormous section of  Southeast Texas equivalent in size to New Jersey.

There is nothing in the historical record that rivals this, according to Shane Hubbard, the Wisconsin researcher who made and mapped this calculation. “In looking at many of these events [in the United States], I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude or size,” he said. “This is something that hasn’t happened in our modern era of observations.”

A 1,000-year flood event, as its name implies, is exceptionally rare. It signifies just a 0.1 percent chance of such an event happening in any given year. “Or, a better way to think about it is that 99.9 percent of the time, such an event will never happen,” Hubbard said.

Apart from Harvey, there’s simply no record of a 1,000-year event occupying so much real estate. ...

But 500-year floods, as it turns out, happen more frequently than you might expect. The Houston area alone has seen no fewer than three such events in the past three years, according to local officials: Memorial Day floods in 2015 and 2016, followed by Hurricane Harvey's torrential rains this year. ...

 

Global Warming made Hurricane Harvey Worse

Global Warming, warmer planet, warmer ocean, more atmospheric water vapor, warmer ocean feeding energy to hurricanes, more severe rain, flooding and destruction.

Climate change made every stage of Hurricane Harvey more horrific by JOE ROMM, 8/28/17
Global warming is juicing more and more storms into super-hurricanes like Harvey and Sandy."

This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced," the National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted Sunday along with a projected precipitation map for Hurricane Harvey.

Although many meteorologists have said they had never seen such a storm - or such a tweet from the NWS - before, the fact is that Harvey is exactly the kind of off-the-charts hurricane we can expect to see more often because of climate change.

"Climate change worsened the unprecedented disaster unfolding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey," as climatologist Michael Mann said in an email to ThinkProgress. "And unrestrained climate change means we will see many more Harveys in the future."

Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. Global warming is juicing storms - a key reason Harvey is the second 1-in-500-year superstorm in 16 years (and fourth 100-year rainstorm since spring 2017). And like a baseball player on steroids, it's the wrong question to ask whether any given home run is "caused" by steroids.

Every stage of Harvey - the rapid intensification that makes for a forecasting nightmare, the brutal storm surge, and the unprecedented rainfall - were worsened by global warming. In fact, there's been so much rain, the National Weather Service had to update their color maps to cover it all.

Hurricanes "extract heat energy from the ocean to convert it to the power of wind, and the warmer the ocean is, the stronger a hurricane can get if all other conditions that it needs to exist are present," meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Jeff Masters explained last month on Living on Earth. "So, scientists are confident that as we continue to heat up the oceans, we're going to see more of these high-end perfect storms."

Let's look at some of the latest climate science. The first stage of a hurricane is formation and intensification. Harvey spun up from a tropical depression to a Category 4 superstorm in two days as it crossed Gulf of Mexico waters that were 2.7 - 7.2°F warmer than "normal" (the 1961-1990 baseline).

The latest research says global warming is driving this trend. "Storms are intensifying at a much more rapid pace than they used to 25 years back," explained the author of a 2012 study. "They are getting stronger more quickly and also [to a] higher category. The intensity as well as the rate of intensity is increasing."

This warming-driven trend toward more rapid intensification is very worrisome. "The vast majority (79 percent) of major storms" are rapid intensification storms," and "the most intense storms" are those that undergo rapid intensification according to a 2016 study. And rapid intensification makes it much harder to predict and plan for superstorms. ...

 

Get ready for more -- much more -- of the Hurricane Harvey kind of destruction

I primarily addressed the flooding threats from Global Warming. We had an horrific example of this from the hurricane that hit Houston. The Hurricane Harvey experience is only the beginning of horrific flooding ... more frequent and more devastating weather events are yet to come.

Trump talks Harvey, NAFTA and border wall in wide-ranging morning of tweets BY MALLORY SHELBOURNE, 08/27/17

"Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground.

Irma is HUGE in comparison to Andrew. Radius of hurricane force winds of 161 miles for Harvey compared to a 25 mile radius for Andrew. Using pi*r2, that's 41X larger area. Holy Cow!

The one stark difference between Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Andrew BY ANDREW FREEDMAN

At first glance, you might think that Hurricane Irma, which is forecast to hit Florida as a Category 4 storm, is weaker than 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which was a Category 5 beast. However, the two storms have one all-important difference.

Hurricane Irma is far larger than Andrew was, and has far more destructive potential. It will also drive a bigger storm surge, because its winds are blowing across a broader swath of the sea, pushing more water toward shore.

According to data from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Hurricane Andrew had a diameter of hurricane-force winds of 74 miles per hour or greater that was just 50 miles across.

Since it crossed over land about 25 miles south of Miami, Andrew's small size meant that it spared the city and its pricey, waterfront real estate of its worst winds. Meanwhile, areas south of the city, like Homestead, Florida, were devastated by the compact, fierce eyewall associated with Andrew.

Hurricane Irma, on the other hand, has hurricane force winds that may extend across the entire state of Florida, depending on its exact path. The diameter of hurricane force winds around the center of Irma was 126 miles as of Friday morning, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue. Meanwhile, the diameter of tropical storm force winds was huge, at a remarkable 322 to 345 miles.

"Wow - Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an all out effort going, and going well!" Trump said.

No kidding. But remember ... Deniers maintain that Global Warming is a HOAX and has nothing to do with it. But it does!

Hurricane Irma shows these storms have now become monsters. Compare to Andrew.

 

These 3 minute presentations take many hours of preparation

Creating a 3 minute presentaion on such a complex topics takes me on the order of 6 hours to research, prepare, include links for backup, condense, and test for time.

A saying attributed to Mark Twain, but more likely by mathematician, Blaise Pascal, is

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

I was within seconds of finishing when Mr. Strand interrupted to cut me off. Cutting me off even though the customer comment before me went on many minutes longer than the prescribed 3 minutes.

As I've presented several times before and finished within seconds of the 3 minute limit. The eagerness to cut me off abruptly on such a vital issue was litterally dismissive of this issue. It appeared politically biased and rude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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