Increasing Greenhouse Means Increasing Floods, Droughts

Among other dynamic activities… As I long predicted, a decade ago, on theoretical grounds, namely the Equipartition of Energy theorem.

Part of Texas was struck by a spectacular hurricane and tropical storm, Harvey, which dumped, and is dumping, an unheard of quantity of rain. That was to be expected, it’s a long foreseen effect of the increasing greenhouse. It is even suspected that, hundreds of millions of years ago, when a greater greenhouse than now ruled, and there was just one major supercontinent, enormous weather systems, of a power unimaginable today, occasionally flooded the otherwise dry interior.

The US President Trump used to complain about CO2, when he was funding and  supporting the so-called “Democrats”, less than ten years ago. To be elected, he engaged in a masquerade denying the shattering potential of a brutal augmentation of the greenhouse. Now he is rising to the occasion, a modern Noah, engineer of his own destiny.

Flood in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chili in 2012. Atacama is the world’s driest desert.

Increasing greenhouse means increasing floods, and not just in the Atacama… Just as it means increasing droughts. The fundamental reason is the increasing temperature: warmer air carries more water molecules. Basically temperature is agitation, and greater agitation keeps more molecules aloft.

Similarly, greater temperatures means greater agitation of water molecules of water in the soil, which then escapes, thus dryer soil, ultimately.

Contradictory effect can emerge, from the same causes. An example: increased floods and droughts, from the same increasing greenhouse.

This has long been well-known in a great desert such as the Sahara.

It’s instructive that a state such as Texas, which produced so much fossil fuels over the last century was struck hard. But so will be the USA, overall: many of the great US cities are threatened by flooding, as sea level will rise.

Somebody just told me: it won’t be tomorrow, that the greenhouse bites. But, in Houston, tomorrow is today, as the city turns into a lake. What people may not understand that much of the greenhouse warming is spent on melting the poles. In particular, the giant frozen expenses of the north. Once all those will be melted, temperatures and storms will shoot up. Why? Because, first, melting ice requires a huge amount of energy. Once the ice is melted, all the heat will go towards other effects. Secondly, the ice creates a strong albedo, the reflectivity of the Earth. Once that’s gone, the soil and water expanses will be capable of much greater warming, as the Sun’s energy will dive deep down inside…  

Patrice Ayme’

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16 Responses to “Increasing Greenhouse Means Increasing Floods, Droughts”

  1. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Comment sent to New York Times, which claimed it was “not clear” that the intensity of Harvey was due to “climate change”. The comment was immediately blocked by cookies sent to my computer by NYT.]

    Harvey: air temperature goes up, water content of the atmosphere goes up. That much is clear.


  2. colettebytes Says:

    Pretty much in agreement with you.


  3. dominique deux Says:

    When I was a kid I was taught the edifying story of St Louis de Gonzague.

    As a schoolboy he was playing with a ball in the schoolyard and a teacher – no doubt a Jesuit – asked him what he would do if he was told that judgment day was tomorrow.

    He answered “I’d go on playing”.

    A deeply philosophical answer and admirable in a child, but you must realize that you’re taking on a bunch of grown-up and powerful Evangelists and assorted loonies who deeply believe Rapture to be coming soon, and there is no point in planning for the centuries or millennia ahead (a view aired by several Trump ministers and Republican leaders). So they embrace that admirable philosophy, on the basis alas of flawed facts.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Very nice historical illustration, Dominique! I believe those who disbelieve man-made warming do actually know that they are lying. They believe, for a number of reasons that warming is good, or that’s it’s good to be anti-science, or anti-scientist. It’s mostly irrelevant. The USA, led by California and… Texas, are actually going green. Long way to go, but the signs are up. Individuals still get important Federal rebates for electric vehicles, BTW… Funny how Trump, or his hysterical anti climate change followers “failed” to observe this…

      Let’s keep on playing with… solar panels. From my perch in California, I observe roof tops with acres of solar PV, when the sun is just right… I have no doubt Trump fully knows climate change is real. His tweets on Harvey are implicitly claiming so. Trump:

      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.

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

      HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible.Thanks!

      And as an aside:

      Donald J. Trump Retweeted
      Inspirational Quotes‏ @Inspire_Us Aug 27
      No color, no religion, no nationality should come between us, we are all children of God. – Mother Teresa


  4. Gmax Says:

    Sounds like Trump is changing it’s music abut climate change. What do you think about Google having 11 scholars fired from the New America foundation for saying monopolies like Google should pay taxes?


  5. ianmillerblog Says:

    The real problem is, people do to understand the time delay built in. The current power input to the oceans means that even if we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, the polar melting would continue because the CO2 in the air remains and continues its effect.


  6. Picard578 Says:

    Maybe, but maybe even that may be preferable to the alternative. I just read a text which writes that, thanks to greenhouse emissions, the Earth just barely avoided entering a new glacial period (Ice Age) few thousand years ago.

    Of course, finding the balance is always the hardest thing…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Picard! Nice to see you contribute again!
      Yes, this is entirely correct. One can advocate the merits of a Jurassic, or even Carboniferous climate. Antarctica, Greenland, could become lush again, as they were 3 million years ago.

      Some are doing loudly …and are wrongly depicted as “denialists”; they don’t deny the anthropomorphic warming, they say it’s a good thing! I suspect this is the case of many leaders in the USA, Canada, Russia…

      A problem with this is that the change is quasi-instantaneous, so the disruption enormous. We may as well beeing hit by an asteroid… Besides sea level could go up 70 meters…


      • Picard578 Says:

        Indeed, even a change that may normally be a good thing can become a bad thing if it happens too quickly.

        If I recall correctly, average temperature was quite high during Europe’s golden age…


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          The warm periods at the peak of Rome and around 1000 CE are facts. The second is known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).

          It’s not clear (to me) what caused them (1000 years solar cycle a possible factor). Alpine glaciers may have been smaller than now. However the onset was slower than now. Also it was followed by the Little Ice Age (when glaciers advanced considerably). A casual look at the temperature graphs show that the changes were around three times slower than in the strong warming from 1850 to 2004.
          Now the warming, since 2004, has accelerated further, and is getting completely out of control…

          Liked by 1 person

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