Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mobile Building

Mobilizes ur carz, then divides by zero.

Via Jeff Masters' Weather Underground, where he notes that 8-11 inches fell on Oklahoma City yesterday. This post is particularly notable, however, for the skill with which he finds the line of clarity between climate change sensationalism and the shoulder-shrugging "we can't attribute any single event to climate change." This is the well-played final paragraph of the relevant section, "Flooding and Global Warming:"
We cannot say that any of this year's flooding disasters were definitely due to global warming, and part of the reason for this year's numerous U.S. flooding disasters is simply bad luck. However, higher temperatures do cause an increased chance of heavy precipitation events, and it is likely that the flooding in some of this year's U.S. flooding disasters were significantly enhanced by the presence of more water vapor in the air due to global warming. We can expect a large increase in flooding disasters in the U.S. and worldwide if the climate continues to warm as expected.
Another section of interest to me today was "Funding issues threaten hundreds of streamgages."
According to the USGS web site, river stage data from 292 streamgages has been discontinued recently, or is scheduled for elimination in the near future due to budget cuts. In Tennessee, 16 streamflow gages with records going back up to 85 years will stop collecting data on July 1 because of budget cuts. Five gages in Arkansas are slated for elimination this year. Hardest hit will be Pennsylvania, which will lose 30 of its 258 streamgages. With over 50 people dead from two flooding disasters already this year, now hardly seems to be the time to be skimping on monitoring river flow levels by cutting funding for hundreds of streamgages.
Yeah, what he said. It's hard for me to believe that a nation with a population of about 116 million, and resources to maintain a streamgage in 1925, and now with a population of about 308 million, no longer has the resources to maintain and monitor those gages.

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