Monday, 21 January 2013

California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

Sacramento during the 1861-62 Megaflood
California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

   Contributed by Stefan Landherr

Climate change* alarmists keep telling us that severe weather events have become more common in the past few decades and that it's all due to rising levels of man-made carbon dioxide in our planet's atmosphere.

Well, here's a recent article from Scientific American™ about the catastrophic 1861 floods in California, when global CO2 levels were much lower than today.  More importantly, there is strong evidence that similar events (preceded by severe droughts) have occurred every 100 or 200 years over the past two millennia.

Good to see that not all climate scientists have been captured by the alarmist dogma.

* previously known as Anthropogenic Global Warming


California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

by B. Lynn Ingram

extracts from Scientific American™   19 January 2013

A 43-day storm that began in December 1861 put central and southern California underwater for up to six months, and it could happen again.
Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California every 100 to 200 years. Such floods are likely caused by atmospheric rivers: narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above the ocean that extend for thousands of kilometres.
In a forthcoming book [the author] co-wrote with Frances Malamud-Roam, THE WEST WITHOUT WATER: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow (University of California Press, Spring 2013) [they] present evidence for similar if not larger floods that have occurred every one to two centuries over the past two millennia in California, as well as nature’s flip-side: deep and prolonged droughts.

About the Author:
B. Lynn Ingram is a professor in the Earth and Planetary Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies past climatic and environmental change in California and other locations around the Pacific Rim.


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