Humans cause total bummer, computers simulate it...
The New York Times reports on a paper that appeared in Nature this week that warns that humans are causing flooding at increased rates and greater intensities than previously seen. The simulation age marches on and is able to not only predict the weather, but also explain anomalous events that are on the rise--we're behind big changes. The implications of these findings are strikingly obvious, yet socially and politically complex: who pays for damage from storms driven by developed nations' greenhouse gases? When does weather stop becoming stochastic and insurance companies refuse to underwrite policies in certain places? How do economies, cultures and ecosystems respond to these perturbations, and how do we manage them in response to global change?
Chehalis, WA flood, 2007, Image borrowed from OregonLive
While people are working on these questions, stay tuned, this is going to continue to play out in real time.
In the meantime, if you're interested in mitigating local environmental change around Seattle, please stop by Yesler Swamp at the Union Bay Natural Area this Saturday and help plant willow stakes and remove invasive blackberry. ~1,000 willow stakes mitigates one cross-country flight and the fun begins at 10am! Directions are here.
Yesler swamp facelift, by Fred Hoffer