Saturday, June 30, 2012

MN Paper Discusses Duluth Storm, Climate Change

It seems that conservatives go ballistic anytime this blog puts up posts or discussions about climate change and Midwest storm events - - recent example, here - -  but I'm glad to see the mainstream media evaluating the recent Duluth deluge in the same terms - - "change models predicted heavier rain events" - - I'd used a few days ago and in 2008 about 2003 data, too.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

The rain that flooded Duluth last week also flushed an unprecedented quantity of dirt, pollution and bacteria into Lake Superior -- enough to make experts worry about the long-term environmental consequences on the largest and clearest of the Great Lakes.

One day after the storm, sediment runoff made the lake opaque for miles along the shore, local researchers say. Satellite photos show a wide swath of mud streaming into the lake from the Duluth harbor almost all the way to the Apostle Islands. "We don't know what's going to happen because we've never seen this," said Elizabeth Austin-Minor, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory.
Understanding the lake's new dynamics is important because major rain events are occurring more often...

Between 1958 and 2007, the Upper Midwest saw a 31 percent increase in "intense" rainfalls -- those 1-in-100 storms -- compared to previous decades, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

The rainfall in Duluth last Tuesday and Wednesday, measuring from 7 to more than 10 inches across the city, was in some places nearly twice what is regarded as Duluth's 1 percent-chance rainfall.

Climate scientists say big rainfalls, particularly from intense thunderstorms, are a symptom of ongoing climate warming. (Warm air holds more water vapor than cooler air.)
Brown said his quick review of data from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group shows that rainfalls of more than 2 inches have come and gone in a decades-long cyclical pattern for Duluth. The number was high in the late 1800s, then dropped in the 1930s, but has been rising steadily again since the 1960s.

But, compared to the last century, the landscape around Lake Superior now has far fewer forests and far more farm fields and cities, making it much more vulnerable to erosion, he said.
I put a version of this at my Journal Sentinel Purple Wisconsin blog, too. 



The JS spoke of the unspoken right wing word in their editorial today.


Yes!!! Al Gore is right again!!! And again!!! said...

Al Gore knew that it never rained like this before we started killing the planet with FOSSIL FUELS!!! Don’t listen to those lying liars lying about past rain events such as Noah’s flood!!! They are LYING!! LYING ABOUT ALGORE!!!! AND LYING ABOUT US NOT KILLING THE PLANET!!!! AlGore calculated that if people were killing the planet with fossil fuels then it would rain in Duluth, and he was right!!! Right again!!! There is NO OTHER explanation for it raining in Duluth other than us killing the planet with FOSSIL FUELS!!!
Wake up!
Don’t listen to those lying liars lying about Algore’s carbon footprint, he is trying to SAVE THE FRICKEN PLANET!!!!
And it’s hot in the summer!!! Just like ALGORE predicted!!!!
And it’s cold in the winter!!! Just like ALGORE predicted!!!!
Fossil fuels are killing the planet!!!

I would like to point out that Al Gore was correct said...

AlGore’s brain
Said it would rain
Rain and rain
as the planet complains
Complains about dying
While deniers are lying
The planet is frying
Frying and dying
Cause no ones complying
With AlGores crying
He told the truth
And it rained in Duluth
There is no greater proof
Than the rain on the roof
On the roof in Duluth
Now the science is proved
The planet’s unglued
Unglued due to fuel
And the fossil fuel fools

AL GORE said...

@YES: Your rampage looks familiar. Sounds like you have a few issues with Al Gore. What happened? Did he hit a sore spot?

Tell me YES - regardless of causalities is it right to spew filth into our closed ecosystems? is it moral?

Let's say there's no proof. Should we continue in our ways?

Is it inconvenient YES? TRUE OR FALSE? Tell the truth now.

Boxer said...

One thing Al Gore didn't predict: the complete unhinging of the right-wing mind. No longer tethered to any sort of reality. Floating around in RightWingSpace along with Major Tom.

Anonymous said...

The Lake Superior watershed can be quite small in many places, not unlike Lake Michigan at Milwaukee. Since WWII, it is hard to see what could be described as an upswing in farming (or logging) and population growth around Duluth. The red clay erodes habitually, but was greatly compounded by the volume of water in the recent event.

Anonymous said...

Dude, the population around Duluth has not grown much, but it has sprawled out, which means much more pavement, and that exacerbates flooding.

Anonymous said...

Dude, the whole of Duluth was a rock already. Basalt, volcanic rock. And it sits high over the lake. so everything on it washes into the lake.