JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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A world protected by windmills? In 1717 Christmas Floods in Germany killed 14,000

With great sympathy for all our European friends. It’s like European history doesn’t exist.

In 1717 on Christmas Eve a flood started that killed 14,000 people and spread across the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. It was followed by savage frosts, and more floods in February of 1718.

So much for the theory that solar panels, windmills, or global cooling will save us from floods.

In the Little Ice Age, the floods were vast, common, and very, very cold.

Daily Mail, Christmas Floods 1717

How one of the most devastating storms in European history killed 13,700 people in 1717

Daily Mail, Dec 2017

On a chilly Christmas Eve three centuries ago, one of the most devastating storms in the history of Europe smashed into the coastlines around the North Sea, killing over 13,000 people, annihilating thousands of houses and wrecking countless farms.

The apocalyptic weather caused enormous floods to submerge coastal areas in the Netherlands, Northern Germany and Denmark by Christmas Day.

As the surviving population struggled with the wind and the waves, Arctic gales spread across the continent and caused a crippling frost to descend on […]

Carbon dioxide radically lower but floods destroy houses, cover beaches in debris across NSW in 1857

Floods are sweeping across NSW and 18,000 people have been evacuated, and rain is forecast to keep coming for til Wednesday. Flooding is described as the worst in 60 years. But that’s the point. There have always been floods right after droughts and fires — and we knew that 150 years ago.

The scandal is that in 1865, scientists had a better grip on what caused them. Today “top” climate scientists think your car causes the weather.

Top science in 2021: Solar panels and windmills could have stopped the flooding:

The multiple natural disasters Australia has experienced over the past 18 months — such as the floods currently ravaging NSW — should be blamed on climate change, say experts from the Climate Council.

“The intense rainfall and floods that have devastated NSW communities are taking place in an atmosphere made warmer and wetter by climate change, which is driven by the burning of coal, oil, and gas,” Climate Council spokesperson Will Steffen said in a statement on Monday.

“For many communities dealing with floods right now, this is the latest in a line of climate change-exacerbated extreme weather events they have […]

Watching the Three Gorges Dam as China Floods

UPDATE: Scroll through the Twitter thread #ChinaFloods

See the spectacular and heart-wrenching footage of raging torrents. I have never seen water move on that scale. Why isn’t this on the news?

But NO evacuation #Hefei #Anhui? Like demons in the night #4thReichChina #Chinazi #Xitler #CCP blew up dams & intentionally flooded & killed a city of 60 million PEOPLE to try save richer more important areas. #ChinaFloods #ChinaTruth #HumanitarianCrisis #EnvironmentalDisaster pic.twitter.com/My8pqbZHUY

— Binni (@ExpelChina) July 25, 2020

 

There is remarkable footage coming out of flooding in China #Chinafloods.

I can’t verify the authenticity, or dates, but it seems likely that terrible things are happening in China. There are shots of levees being deliberately broken to allow waters to flood fields to take the pressure off the dams, and some say the flooding is done without warning and even at night. One shot shows a barge with people on board crashing into bridge pillar and breaking apart. Lord help them. There are reports that the grain crops have been hit hard. “Agriculture wiped out”. There are multiple other reports of thousands going without food or water, with no attempts to rescue them. And there are scores of videos […]

Watching the Three Gorges Dam

Eyes are still on the Three Gorges Dam as a rare flooding event spreads across Asia. Bridges that have stood for 500 years have succumbed.

Pity the poor people of Wuhan, the flood waters released from the Three Gorges Dam have arrived. That dam and all upstream dams have opened the flood gates, and cities as far downstream as Wuhan are flooding.

According to the South China Morning Post, 19,380,000 people have been affected by flooding across China as of July 3rd. Chriss Street says “a record 16.8 inches falling between Sunday and Monday morning, and inflows running at 40 acre-feet per second after, CMA on July 4 issued an 80-percent risk of thundershowers for each of the next 11 days.”

Check out the brief shot of the flood in a supermarket.

江蘇省:蘇州市 pic.twitter.com/OJnzeMWvUt

— 全智胜 (@MgOqkzLBRPLCHyN) July 7, 2020

 

Apparently the dam is so large and heavy it even ranks in discussions of seismic potential — namely that some people are concerned the weight of the water may trigger earthquakes.

The “word on the street” according to Gravitasis that Chinese people are wondering if the flooding water released from is convenient for the CCP government […]

A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

Here’s one for all the history-deniers from 1885

Mr N Bartley understood Australias climate 134 years ago better than some climate scientists appear to now.

After the fire came the floods, Feb 2020.

Even then Australia already had a century-long rolling cycle of floods, fires and droughts. One natural disaster after another back when CO2 levels were perfect.

These go back to the earliest dates of European settlement. Wherever Captain Flinders landed in 1782 — 1792 he found “found traces of drought and bush fires invariably”. In 1839, the drought was so bad that fish “putrefied” in the big Murrumbidgee River even though there was not one coal fired power plant on Earth.

The author laments that the droughts “become forgotten in the flood intervals.”

In the modern Wifi era humans can forget even faster.

Below is my summary list of the events described in the story.

Below that, the full letter. From The Queenslander, Sept 19th, 1885.

*Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)

(1795 onwards?)* […]

Whole suburbs flooded after exhaustive expert flood modelling says they won’t

Another triumph of modeling

In 2014, Townsville City Council launched a detailed flood mapping service.

The maps will allow people to search individual properties to find out the risk of it being inundated during a one-in-100-year flood event.

Five years later and they’re publishing inundation maps. Sadly, new suburbs were built with the wrong expectations.

Townsville flood maps reviewed as more homes go under

Jared Owens and Charlie Peel The Australian

Townsville City Council’s spokeswoman said last night the model, which was based on expert modelling of different scenarios, was overwhelmed by an “unprecedented” monsoonal trough …

Local Government Associa­tion of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said Towns­ville’s flood maps relied on “exhaustive modelling of every possible scenario”, looking at variable­s such as rainfall and artificia­l structures.

“We’re not God. We don’t have supreme knowledge. We only have the best science, the best knowledge we can have,” he said. “We now know with the (dam) gates fully open … what will flood and what won’t, so there will be a new set of flood maps prod­uced out of this event.”

If we had better climate models, perhaps we might […]

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm […]

Global warming means a global fall in wildfires

Strangely, despite NASA Giss “discovering” that the world has heated a lot since 1998, fires have declined.

Apparently increasing our CO2 emissions means less fires. Tell the world.

Figure 2. Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980 – 2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

This new paper points out that the perception is that fires are worse than they have ever been, but that this is simply not true, not in the last thirty years, and not in the last few hundred either. It also documents how much money and effort we put into suppressing almost all fires and that this is in contrast to tens of thousands of years where humans used fire as a tool. Suppressing fires is getting increasingly expensive and sometimes costs lives as well.

Putting things in perspective. We spend a lot of money to avoid death and damage by fire, yet earthquakes kill 700 times as many people and floods kill 1,800 times as many people. There is something primal about fire that we feel driven to stop.

Table 1. Global comparison of human and economic losses derived from wildfire, earthquakes and flood […]

500% more rain over a million square kilometers – Wettest September across Eastern Australia in 116 years

It is not surprising there are floods all over the East coast at the moment

September brought 500% of normal rain to 2 million square kilometers of Eastern and Northern Australia. There are floods across the South East. There are flood alerts in South Australia, floods have been washing through NSW (and some of those floods were caused by a dam release). There are floods in Tasmania. Flood watches are active in Victoria. Spare a thought for farmers who are taking big losses from both frost and flood in Australia. (So much for endless droughts, and early springs. Hello, Tim Flannery.) Heavy snow has also fallen — 25cm in Threadbo (it so late in the season, some ski lifts have stopped operating). Right now, thousands of people still don’t have power in South Australia, while others are being rescued from floods across SA and NSW. Floods have stranded 181 families for month on islands in the middle of NSW.

h/t to Warwick Hughes, and Lance Pidgeon

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

A large part of the scary purple area got only 100-200mm of rain in a month (4-8 inches). It’s just very unusual in these dry areas.

To give […]

Witchdoctors blaming climate change for storms again

Collaroy Beach 1967

Seas Pound Beachfront, Collaroy and Manly. Weds 6th Sept 1967

“…at Collaroy, heavy earth-moving equipment is standing by to prevent the huge seas from further undermining home units and a house which has been in danger for several days.”

Roger Franklin at Quadrant, wrote about a time When weather was just weather, and a Collaroy Storm of 1945.

Houses washed away, Collaroy Beach, 1945

Weds June 13, 1945.

..

Weds, June 13, 1945

14 Deaths in NSW Storms

Source: Houses Washed Out to Sea.

Blame climate change, without blaming climate change

The climate scientists are telling us that there will be less of this type of winter storm. But all the other experts, planners, engineers — get their moment of glory in the media to tell us that climate change will make this worse. In such a way does a media marketing team (like, say, the ABC) convey the sense of alarm, even when their favourite experts are actually saying the opposite.

Here’s Karl Braganza, head of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology, in the SMH, saying that this is […]