World Weather Attribution is considering whether to conduct a similar “attribution analysis” of Tropical Storm Harvey once all rainfall figures are recorded. Climate scientists say singling out this one hurricane as a global-warming-driven anomaly would be a mistake. But they also argue that climate change can worsen the hurricanes that do occur. Precipitation events have been on the rise in recent decades and several have been shown to be more likely because of climate change. Penn State University professor of meteorology, Michael Mann, state that warming temperatures “worsened the impact” of the storm. Human-caused climate warming increased the intensity of the torrential Louisiana rains by at least 10 percent, according to a team of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and partner scientists with World Weather Attribution. The same report stated that the likelihood of such an event had been raised 40 percent by global warming.
Barack Obama’s administration established the Federal Flood Risk Management Standards, a rule that sought to flood-proof new federal infrastructure projects by demanding they incorporate the latest climate change science. Obama’s regulation meant roads, buildings and other infrastructure needed to be constructed to take climate change into account and be built to withstand the effects of such climate change, including rising sea levels in coastal areas. Last week, Trump announced he would scrap the rule. Donald Trump signed away Obama-era flood standards just weeks before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, in a bid to get infrastructure projects approved more quickly.
Unfortunately nature is taking a devastating toll in both the U.S. mainland and in countries like India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Directly attributing these individual weather events to global warming is a tricky undertaking for scientists. Anyhow more precipitation in less time, as well as in changing geographies in some cases, is surpassing the preparations and coping capacity of the communities.
The media must remain free from ties, agreements and conventions in order to maintain its integrity. On the contrary, in relation to Asia and USA, the media is getting very different treatment about dead people in floods. This is what happens when we speak truth to power and when west magazines don’t care about million people living in poverty!
|More images at this New York Times article.|