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“CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING” October 21, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in carbon emissions, greenhouse emissions, Humankind/Planet Earth, Natural Environment.
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The procession of extreme weather events that could be observed around the world is no coincidence according to a recently published report.

Karen Kissane in The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Migration and Global Environmental Change is the result of a two-year peer-reviewed project by 350 specialists in 30 countries. It was released yesterday by Foresight, part of the British Government Office for Science, which sits within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Speaking after the launch, Sir John Beddington told the Herald that Australia should not expect the La Nina phenomenon that triggered the Queensland floods to be a once-in-a-generation event. The next one could not be predicted but it would return much more frequently than in the past.
”We know that climate change is happening,” he said. ”We know that the greenhouse gases already in the upper atmosphere will determine the climate over the next 30 years [and there will be] more droughts, floods and extreme weather.
”Since 2008, on average, 25 million people a year have been displaced by extreme weather events, and that’s in a world of relatively benign climate change.”
Professor Adger warned, ”extreme events threaten livelihoods and survival.”
The report recommended policies that allow for migration, better city planning, sustainable-low carbon economies and improved early-warning systems about catastrophic events.
The World Bank said it will meet in December to assess the report’s implications.

So I suppose that it is not too much of a stretch to suggest that global warming is not a factor in the heavy rainfall in Thailand that seems to have overwhelmed the flood defences of Bangkok. Zoe Daniel for ABC News Online writes:

Thailand’s prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra says the country is in a “national crisis” with flooding in parts of Bangkok now inevitable.
[(AFP: Nicolas Asfouri)]

She says she will ask Bangkok authorities to open all of the city’s floodgates to drain water into the sea, increasing the risk of inundation in the capital.

“I have decided to ask Bangkok to open all gates, which could trigger an overflow, in order to drain water into the sea as soon as possible,” Ms Shinawatra said at an emergency meeting.

“At the same time, water pumps will help pump out water and city officials will clear waterways of hyacinth plants.”

She has asked residents not to panic if water suddenly rises in city canals.

Inner Bangkok has so far escaped major flooding as the authorities divert water to areas outside the main capital in a bid to prevent the Chao Phraya River bursting its banks and flooding the political and economic heartland.

But a massive volume of run-off water is expected to reach the city by the weekend, putting a huge strain on Bangkok’s flood defences and a heavy burden on people in severely affected areas just outside the capital.

Bangkok has an extensive drainage system including 200 floodgates, 158 pump stations, seven giant underground tunnels, and 1,682 canals covering 2,604 kilometres, according to city authorities.

Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed 320 people, damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions of people, mostly in the north and central Thailand, and forced tens of thousands to seek refuge in shelters.

It has proven easier to delay than to take effective action on climate change, and almost impossible to orchestrate a common global response to a world-wide problem. The mistaken idea was that once the science was established within reasonable bounds of uncertainty that action would follow instantaneously.

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