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« Thoughts on Naomi Klein | Main | The amazing Sarah Montague »
Thursday
Dec102015

Me on the floods

I have a post up at the Spectator blog about the Cumbria floods.

Read it here.

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Reader Comments (83)

So your position is that climate change has not and will not affect the JetStream?

Dec 10, 2015 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, I presume the question you meant to ask was, "So your position is that man's influence has not and will not affect the Jet Stream?"

Dec 10, 2015 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Slingo actually writes ".....suggests there may be a link.....". From which it is equally valid to suggest the exact opposite and tantamount to 'dunno'. Of course the dullard media will ignore the 'suggest' and 'may'. I don't know why you bothered; people will believe exactly what they want to believe.

Of course the idea that 4% extra water vapour (ref Trenberth) in the air could make any difference to weather is risible. More likely the 60-year AMO cycle.

Dec 10, 2015 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

It is reported today that a Cambridge geologist has found that since 1700, there have been 34 major flood events in Cumbria (depositional evidence) and that some were likely more significant than the present one. That is on the order of 10 per century, roughly one a decade. Inadequate flood defenses, it appears, despite geological certainty about the need for them in this area. Truss is remiss.
Makes it hard to believe Slingo is anything more than a propagandist.

Dec 10, 2015 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

"climate change has not and will not affect the Jetstream"

Mike Post,

If Warmers had to present accurate thought/science they would have nothing to present.

Andrew

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Or maybe the NAO.
http://www.livescience.com/50998-jet-stream-controls-atlantic-climate-cycles.html

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Bit remiss not to quote Slingo at more length

“It’s too early to say definitively whether climate change has made a contribution to the exceptional rainfall. We anticipated a wet, stormy start to winter in our three-month outlooks, associated with the strong El Niño and other factors.

“However, just as with the stormy winter of two years ago, all the evidence from fundamental physics, and our understanding of our weather systems, suggests there may be a link between climate change and record-breaking winter rainfall. Last month, we published a paper showing that for the same weather pattern, an extended period of extreme UK winter rainfall is now seven times more likely than in a world without human emissions of greenhouse gases

If the new 24hr rainfall record at Honister was solely 'down to someone installing a new rain gauge in a really wet place.' I guess the other new 48hr record at Thirlmere was just a coincidental fluke.

LOL.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Julia Slingo is a cloud specialist. Her late husband, a Meteorology researcher at Reading University, apparently programmed the present 'Kirchhoff's Law of Radiation' method in the climate models which gets clouds to create the 'atmospheric window' part of 'back radiation' which replaced the incorrect 'negative convection' used by GISS from 1976.

But that's based on incorrect aerosol physics. Ergo, she apparently has a significant motive to grab every possible bit of confirmatory evidence justifying the Climate Models. I'm just reporting the facts, not judging anyone.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Phil Clarke what is your stance on what won't change the position of the Jet Stream? A change in the Jet Stream caused the drought of 1976, and it was very warm that year, and very dry.

Then it got very wet, and all the reservoirs filled up. 1976 was an amazing year for changes in the climate, caused by the Jet Stream. Can we now blame it on Global warming, and drying, and wetting, or just weather?

Or do you just regard evidence about 1976 as 'anecdotal' in the absence of peer reviewed computer adjusted climate science?

I wonder if the BBC and Met Office archives reveal much about the Lake District in 1976. They can never find much to say about the anomalies that occurred before the cheap availability of DIY video recording.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke, I presume the question you meant to ask was, "So your position is that man's influence has not and will not affect the Jet Stream?"

What does Andy mean when he uses the phrase Climate Change in the blog post?

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Bish

Your Speccy piece is OK but I'm a bit surprised that you don't refer to Slingo's extraordinary (and much quoted) claim on
http://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2015/12/07/did-climate-change-have-an-impact-on-storm-desmond/

that " Last month, we published a paper showing that for the same weather pattern, an extended period of extreme UK winter rainfall is now seven times more likely than in a world without human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Seven times more likely, note. Not 6½ times "more likely"or even 7 times (plus or minus 6 times) more likely.

And "what" (scary computer generated fairy story) exactly, is 7 times more likely than "what" (other fairy story)?

The MET Office Press guy helpfully gives a link to this super new paper, "Studying the causes of extreme weather in 2014" in which our old chum Peter Stott is implicated. The 'money shot' here is:-

"The first [paper] shows a link between global warming and the exceptional UK rainfall of the winter 2013/14. It found that, under the same weather pattern (a persistent westerly flow), extreme rainfall over 10 consecutive winter days is now seven times more likely than in a world without man-made greenhouse gas emissions. This is in line with initial Met Office research which we published in February 2014."

And the "10 consecutive winter days" would be a standard, scientifically based metric? Or just a cheeky, cherry picked interval more scary that 7 or 13 days (let alone 18¾ years, obviously).

So, come on Slingo & Stott, where are the precipitation and flood level records from a "world without man-made greenhouse gas emissions". When would that be, then? Before 1850? Before 1000 AD? When? How well maintained were the rain gauges and flood level indicators back then? Were they read 09:00 - 09:00 like today (except when they want to cherry pick another 24 hour period?) Where are the error bars? And where is the proof that this is all the fault of naughty Homo Sapiens, pray?

Carbon dioxide! Is there ANYTHING it cannot do?

I'm sorry, but this pseudo-scientific tosh, generously seasoned with 'could' and 'might' and 'perhaps', caused my bullshit meter to peg it and explode, leaving a nasty mess on the carpet.

I think the MET Office has at last realised that, once credibility is destroyed, it is extremely difficult to rebuild. So, they are no longer bothered whether they are credible or not. The media, politicians and NGOs will quote them as Holy Writ anyway. In fact the probability is that they are having an office competition to see who can put out the most outrageously nonsensical Press Release before Xmas. With a ticket to the next CoP bunfight as prize.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

I think she missed a bit out:

Last month, we published a paper showing that for the same weather pattern, [our models show that]an extended period of extreme UK winter rainfall is now seven times more likely than in a world without human emissions of greenhouse gases
Forgetting also to add that "a world without human emissions of greenhouse gases" is a world without human beings. Nor does she say seven times more likely than when.
Precision is all in science, Philip! That's a treble-fail on her part.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:28 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

…an extended period of extreme UK winter rainfall is now seven times more likely than in a world without human emissions of greenhouse gases
And not so long ago, we were being assured that human emission of greenhouse gases was going to cause longer and more severe droughts in the UK. My, how the tunes change.

No, the flooding in Cumbria (or anywhere else in these soggy islands) has little to do with climate change and a lot to do with the recalcitrant fickleness of British weather.

Good to see you getting the hang of the HTML coding, by the way, Phil.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

If anyone reading this wants to be a scientist when they grow up, please learn the scientific method and don't be misled by Phil Clarke at Dec 10, 2015 at 5:35 PM.

The correct method is to assume that we don't know something until the evidence is enough to suggest we do. This is the Null Hypothesis - that two things are not related.
We need evidence that they are related (and so we know something about the other when we know something about the first). Without that evidence we do not assume they are connected.

You can see that Phil Clarke gets this entirely the wrong way round. He assumes things are connected and then asks for evidence that they are not. It is the mind-set of the superstitious.

Example A: How do we know that throwing virgins into the volcano hasn't prevented the eruption? "Prove it doesn't" says the non-scientist. Prove it does says the scientist (especially if they are a virgin).

Example B: How do we know that the cow getting sick isn't the work of witches? "Prove it doesn't" says the non-scientist. Prove it does says the scientist (especially if they are a woman).

Example C: How do we know that the CO2 emissions doesn't affect the Jetstream? "Prove it doesn't" says the non-scientist. Prove it does says the scientist (especially if they want to help the poor out of poverty).

Reversing the Null Hypothesis is one of the worst crimes against science by the pseudoscientists that are threatening the Enlightenment Heritage of the developed world.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Phil Clarke, (@ 6:10 PM)

From Paul Homewood: "In the 1898 storm, it appears that most of the rain fell in about 16 hours, in turn suggesting an even more intense period of rain. Note that the 48-hour record for Thirlmere is said to have fallen over 38 hours. This indicates that it was the amount of time, during which the weather front was sat over the Lake District, that was the key factor last weekend."

for your reading pleasure

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

I guess the other new 48hr record at Thirlmere was just a coincidental fluke.

LOL.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Thirlmere was still less than Honister.

Thirlmere was more than Seathwaite, but (if you are digging around for a new "record"), one of the questions that should then be asked is "is Thirlmere normally wetter than Seathwaite anyway?", as well as questions about the length of the existing rainfall records. Or at least, an honest person would ask those questions.

As with temperature it is almost always possible to obtain more "record" measurements by simply taking more measurements at more locations not previously measured during regional events which may be close to "record" values.

It's just like mining Cricket or Baseball statistics for "records": When there is a will, a "record" of some sort can always be found.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

@ Rud

"Makes it hard to believe Slingo is anything more than a propagandist."

Oh, ya think ?!?!

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

This flood event is yet more evidence of how damaging the climate obsessed are in the real world.
The floods are not unusual, historically. Flood defenses should have been built to handle the extremes history shows happens over time.
Instead the environmentalist extremists and the climate kooks have either withheld needed money for flood defense or have frittered limited money away on conferences, trips, grants to NGO's, and other climate parasite expenses.

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Of course, if I was looking for a real UK rainfall record, I wouldn't go to the English Cake District.
I would head North of the Border, for some proper mountains and some proper rain. :)

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Classic British cult comedy Withnail and I

Location filming for Richard E Grant and Paul McCann lake side cottage was in a placed called Haweswater Resovoir in Cumbria.
Haweswater Resovoir was originally constructed in 1935 to supply local drinking water.
Chances are the Dambusters used it to practice their low level flying.
This is according to wilkipedia.

Because of increased Tourisnm and OAP retirees urban growth and proberly demand from Selafield etc obviously became cheaper to pipe in High Volume Fresh Water from miles outside.

Perhaps you already guessed where I'm going with this

The Resovoir was drained and the dam on the originall tarn demolished and the flooded valley returned to nature which that was in 2005. Then what happened first big downpour in 2010 wallop.

I'm no geology urban planner engineer but chances are Haweswater Resovoir was acting as a Releif Overspill for the local river system during times of increased rainfall .

Chances are in previous years periodic torrential rain was captured stored and then allowed to flow back out at a safe rate .

My advice to Liz Truss and George Osbourn in the Lake District (clue is in the title ) don't build man made river defences they just get washed away or the rivers flows around them instead build man made lakes.

Which is proberly what they will have to do . How they stopped the Colardo and the Nile Deltas from flooding before anyone was on the Global Warming bandwagon.

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Ben Webster has an article in the Times about the flooding, quotes scientists saying not climate change

Ministers Wrong to Blame Climate Change - The Times

"Scientists have contradicted a minister’s claim that last weekend’s flooding in Cumbria was unprecedented and linked to climate change. They say that there have been 34 extreme floods there in the past 300 years and that lives had been put at risk by “grossly underestimating” the risk of floods and failing to consider evidence from records. "

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4636885.ece

the rest is paywalled..

so excuse my typing:

"Tom Spencer a reader in coastal ecology and geomorphology at the University of Cambridge, said that analysis of deposits and floods in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries showed they were the 'biggest events". These floods happened long before the rise in manmade emissions, undermining the claim that last weeks floods were linked to climate change. He said that th egovernment relied too heavily on records dating back only 40 yrs"

there is more.

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

is there still a hosing ban in uk?

why not install a pipeline to Londonistan there is not enough water there it stinks

Dec 10, 2015 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusCold

Phil Clarke

"What does Andy mean when he uses the phrase Climate Change in the blog post?"

Do you mean our host? If so, I assume he's quoting his own headline, ‘climate change bogeyman’, which he put in inverted commas to indicate to the hard of understanding that it may not be real.

What do you mean when you say 'climate change'?

Dec 10, 2015 at 8:20 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

jamspid

Thank you for that. Very enlightening.

Dec 10, 2015 at 8:23 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Ah, floods, the protection from which is the responsibility of our glorious 'Environment Agency' (EA) a product of the The Environment Act 1995. Minister responsible - one John Selwyn Gummer.

Of course 'climate change' will be invoked, it's in the genes

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Clearly the Lake District needs more of those apotropaic ‘bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes’.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Hanley

I see Phil laughing out loud in earlier comments. I suppose it's good that someone, somewhere is getting pleasure from what is happening in Cumbria and elsewhere.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

NCC1701E

Comment on the use of Kirchoff's Law in GCMs - better than GISS method.

Well

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/new-paper-questions-basic-physics.html

The embedded YouTube video is an eye-opener and well worth a view.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

It used to be the case that weather forecasters were blamed (unfairly) for pronouncements about bad weather. Now the Met Office has re-educated the gullibles into blaming everything on global warming.

I think we ought to be redirecting the blame at all the extra flights in and out of Paris over the last few weeks. Lots of those extra planes must have disrupted the Jet Stream if climate scientists are to be believed, particularly the big ones, conveying the biggest egos back and forth, across the Atlantic.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

M Courtney (Dec 10, 2015 at 6:32 PM), an excellent comment and one that highlights the fundamental flaw in much of climate science... a perfect example of what Feynman defined as 'cargo cult science'.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Does Kendal often flood?

Bishop, you finished with:

The floods in Cumbria have been awful for those affected. Those who have chosen to prioritise spending in other areas – not the least of which has been the largesse doled out to renewable energy companies and global warming researchers – should not be allowed to shift the blame to the bogeyman of climate change.
Do you think that climate change had nothing to do with these floods, that they were just a freak event? If so, why would anyone "prioritise spending" on defenses against floods that are not expected to recur?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff, do you think heavy rains are not expected to recur in the Lake District?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Raff
Climate and weather always change and always have. So that has everything to do with the high precipitation.
The management (or lack of management) of the watercourse, drainage and upland catchment areas have everything to do with turning precipitation into a flood.
The effect of more or less carbon dioxide emissions on precipitation is almost certainly negligible. The effect on catchment and drainage management is obviously zero.
Although this is very well understood, the accurate prediction of extreme rainfall events is very complex and of doubtful accuracy. And there will ALWAYS be freak storms bigger than calculated.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Raff

Nein comrade, please take time out to understand our planet has form and is more than capable of many more 'freak events' of even greater magnitude.

Minister (And Slingo) Wrong To Blame Floods On Climate Change

" Dr Tom Spencer, a reader in coastal ecology and geomorphology at the University of Cambridge, said that analysis of deposits left by floods in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries showed they were the “biggest events”. These floods happened long before the rise in manmade emissions, undermining the claim that last weekend’s floods were linked to climate change. He said that the government relied too heavily on records dating back only 40 years."

It will not be long before our descendants decry this generation for not teaching and protecting our social history. Look up the great storm of 1703 and think seriously of who you would have blamed for that 'freak event'? Witches? Virgins? Black Cats?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:33 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Having watched the cold patch in the North Atlantic form I wonder if the storms are the cause or the result. A lot stems from the behaviour of the Jet Stream, and I don't think there has been enough discussion about what makes it loopy or wander about. Is it part of the mechanism that cools the planet down? What behaviours typify the end of a warm period?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Raff, can you determine a date before which floods are not due to global warming, and after which they definitely are?

The point being made in the article was the amount of money sucked out of the economy to pay for unreliable windmills, which have provided no benefit to anyone.

One could also raise issues with the number of new houses being built in limited areas of the Lake District, which were not previously built on, because they were liable to flood.

One could also raise issues with the number of new developments, and how they increase the rate of movement of rainwater into the existing rainwater drainage, both natural and artificial.

One could also raise issues with the increased number of houses being insured, and how the cost of damage goes up, even if the number of houses damaged remains unchanged.

One could also raise issues with the historic and current accuracy of recording rainfall, and incentives to over/under estimate.

One could also ask a brief question as M Courtney has above.

Or you could just be very simple and blame global warming, especially as it hasn't.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

M Courtney, there's always lots of rain there so they are used to it - tell me when did the cities flood last time? If climate change is going to make flooding more frequent, prioritize action, but if flooding is very rare, why bother (unless you secretly think CC will make flooding more common)?

Martin, yes "there will ALWAYS be freak storms bigger than calculated", so prioritize building up all flood defenses across the country to, what, 1000 year event levels? 10,000 year event levels. How much? If you have to wait 1000 years for the next one why bother?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff

" How much? If you have to wait 1000 years for the next one why bother? ."

Well the first thing you don't do is stop dredging the becks, because that changes the timescale.

IMVHO what we are actually seeing is our elite seeing how much they can get away with. After 30yrs dry, no need to dredge, now the tide has turned!

But no worries, because by now even if we actually had a 1703 catastrophic event tomorrow the elite would prosper because the muppets have been programmed to accept that it is their fault!

Sheez

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:19 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Raff,
You defeated your own argument. Good job.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Raff, which cities in the Lake District are you referring to?

Has anyone else noted how rarely Cathedrals flood? It could be divine intervention, or that in the days before computer adjusted climate science, builders and architects knew where not to build Churches, Cathedrals, and houses for the wealthy.

Expanding populations tend to expand onto land that their predecessors deemed unsuitable to build houses on. Whether from river flooding or coastal storms. Due to UK Planning Laws, there is normally a Mobile Home Park featured in aerial photographs of flood damage.

Due to UK Planning Laws, you can't build houses on flood resistant higher ground, but you can build windfarms that benefit no one.

Due to anything you like, just blame global warming.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Questions, questions, questions.
Hey Raff (1:52 PM) you have the internet, use it and answer your own disingenuous questions.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Hanley

Hunter, come rain or shine, flood or drought, or even an absence of evidence, just blame global warming for everything, and hope some of the muck sticks.

Failing that, reinvent a new 97% confidence in the upside down Hockey Stick, and hang your lucky rabbit foot from it, so you can tell if the wind blows in a different direction.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Green Sand, you quote the storm of 1703. A few years later in 1707 was another storm that resulted in a squadron of the Royal Navy being smashed into the Scilly Isles. This led to the death of Sir Cloudesley Shovell (what a name!) but more significantly for an Admiralty Board to instigate the search for a reliable Marine Chronometer, a prize ultimately, but begrudgingly awarded to John Harrison, as many devotees of Only Fools and Horses will remember.

For 2 such storms to have occurred in 4 years is proof that Global Warming must have occurred, just prior to the Little Ice Age. As neither of these storms are featured on You Tube, they do not exist in the records of Climate Science, so can be dismissed as 'anecdotal' in the best traditions demonstrated by Phil Clarke.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Weather warnings continue as Governments pledge cash for aftermath and scientists cast doubt on flooding theories

The latest bout of storms also come as scientists at Glasgow and other UK claim the recent weather is not unprecedented and cast doubts on repeated comments linking Storm Desmond to climate change.

Gasp!

A team of experts from the Universities of Aberystwyth, Cambridge and Glasgow have concluded in a report that events such as Storm Desmond are not exceptional or unprecedented in terms of frequency or magnitude and that risk forecasts would be improved by including data dating back hundreds of years.

Dr Larissa Naylor from Glasgow University said: “These floods and the 2013/14 storms have shown us that our landscape is dynamic rather than static, where rivers reshape floodplains and erosion remodels our coastline, with large economic and social costs.

"We need to urgently consider how we plan our cities and towns, and rebuild in the wake of large flood and storm events, to live safely in our changing landscape.”

Gasperer!

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

As a Chartered Civil Engineer, I can help a little on the quite thorney question of extreme precipitation and design.
There is no absolute 'correct' answer. But, whilst it might be considered acceptable for limited flooding to occur once a year at the side of a minor road, large reservoir spillways are usually designed to pass a 10,000 year flood. As has been pointed out, this doesn't mean that you will wait 10,000 years before a flood of this size comes along. It means that there is a 1:10,000 probability that such a storm will occur in any year.

A moment's thought confirms that this isn't a precise calculation. Blame Noah for not leaving very precise records to assist! The likely impact of a storm exceeding the capacity of the predicted flood is then considered. In the case of a large earth embankment spillway, it is very likely that a flood not contained within the spillway or other overflow will cause the dam to fail.

The most likely effect of such a failure is then considered, even to the extent of trying to estimate the number of fatalities that might result. All this is then used to consider if the spillway needs to be increased in size, or to assess the frequency of inspections needed and the qualifications that the engineer needs to have. There is much more to it than that, if you are interested, look at the legislation covering the design and management of large impounding reservoirs.

Now, another moment's thought will lead to the realisation that you would be mad to try to design a simple structure, whose failure would have few consequences, to the same standard as (say) a large dam upstream of a town. Or a nuclear power station. The cost and the size of the preventive measures come into the equation.

If you go to Funchal in Madeira, you will see excellent examples of the enormous reinforced concrete culverts which have been constructed to feed water from what are normally inconsequential streams down through the city to discharge into the sea. I haven't seen the calculations so I don't know the 'return period' of flood they have been designed to take. EU money will have gone into this, so they are unlikely to have been mean in determining the design. I'm not suggesting that they have over designed, or on the other hand that what they have constructed will prevent any future problem. But they ARE enormous.

On the other hand, here in the UK, we are much more interested in everything being fluffy and cuddly. So no huge reinforced concrete culverts. No dredging. If we need to fell some trees, let's be kind to beetles and leave them on river banks for the beetles to chew on. And if a flood comes down the river, picks up the beetles' breakfast and washes it downstream and block up that quaint old stone bridge, which we can't rip out and replace because, hey!, it's been there for two hundred years (since the last big flood, actually) and we've only got a few thousand little old stone bridges left!

You can see which way this is going, I guess.

And following the same kind of logic, what does it matter if there is no electricity for the peasants in Cumbria or Yorkshire, so long as my iPad in Islington carries on working? After all, I might be tweeting about those nasty deniers with their fossil fuel bribes. Or checking how my Renewables shares are doing.
(Sarc.)

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

golf charlie wrote:
"One could also raise issues with the number of new developments, and how they increase the rate of movement of rainwater into the existing rainwater drainage, both natural and artificial."

In 1968, Luna B. Leopold** and the U.S> Geological Survey published Circular 554.
Title: Hydrology for Urban land Planning – A Guidebook on the Hydrologic Effects of Urban Land Use
Circular 554

Some background here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrograph

In simple terms, urban development causes faster runoff (lessens the "lag time") and increases the flood height ("peak discharge"). A slower and lower flood may stay around longer.

**[Luna B. is the son of Aldo, author of "A Sand County Almanac", and a sister of Estella, a paleobotanist and a conservationist. The book by the father makes delightful reading.]

Dec 11, 2015 at 4:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

" How much? If you have to wait 1000 years for the next one why bother? ."

Basic misunderstanding of the concept of probability.

Dec 11, 2015 at 4:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

Notice the change?

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14135013.Weather_warnings_continue_as_Governments_pledge_cash_for_aftermath_and_scientists_cast_doubt_on_
climate_change_flooding_theories/

Dec 11, 2015 at 4:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

@Clipe I can see 3 different URLs
original ..scientists_cast_doubt_on_climate_change_flooding_theories
And one as you say scientists_cast_doubt_on_flooding_theories
- Another scientists_cast_doubt_on_climate_change_theories *
* checked in Google cache also
but the actual text looks the same as I flick between the different browser windows and check on text-compare.com

Dec 11, 2015 at 5:04 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Booker : A flood of lies: Global warming zealots are fibbing to promote their own propaganda - this rainfall was NOT unprecedented

to experience these ‘extreme weather events’ is certainly very alarming and unpleasant.
But for those in a position of power then to exploit them just to make a deluded ideological point, as we have yet again seen in recent days, is a disgraceful abuse both of science and of common sense.

M Courtney is right above, warmists are too quick to assume and say "of course we can see climate change, here"
without actually proving correlation and cause.. Then they plead for skeptics to disprove it.

BTW its also confirmation bias FALLACY, cos at the same time you ignore all those times where the weather effect is in a fallow period like US hurricanes.

Dec 11, 2015 at 5:21 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

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