Photos of UK Flooding


  1. Business as usual meanwhile. (Wasn't 2007 worse? Bavaria 2013? Amur river 2013? Colorado 2013, etc. etc. and don't forget Pakistan...) Nothing to see, move on.
    Let's hope, people don't get used to it too easily, moving into real catastrophe on shifting baselines. Like, no Roman noted the collapse of the Roman empire.

  2. U.K. Probes Whether Strange, Wet Winter part of a Changing Climate in Scientific American.

    "In terms of the storms and floods of winter 2013/2014, it is not possible, yet, to give a definitive answer on whether climate change has been a contributor or not," concluded the United Kingdom's Met Office in a lengthy report published this week.

    But the experts admit, however, that when taken as a whole, the persistence and clustering of the storms inundating the United Kingdom this winter with flooding and heavy rains are unprecedented in modern times and are sending a strong signal that the climate change links need to be better understood.

    "For England and Wales this was one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years," the Met Office report stated. The agency is the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. National Weather Service.

    The chief scientist at the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, said earlier in a panel discussion: "All the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change. There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events."

  3. Thanks for a links. There's a basic communication problem here that will continue for some while - right up until we start getting p values that allow people in the Met Office and elsewhere to say "oh yeah - NOW these events are climate change related." The BBC video is great - up to the point where they say the Met Office 'don't know' if current events are climate related. Julia Slingo has done all she can: these are the sorts of extremes we can expect to increase over time, etc (how on Earth Nigel Lawson concludes that's `absurd'... anyhow, let's ignore him.) But then if the message that comes out the BBC mouthpiece is `scientists don't know'...? Not good and not true.

    There's the `loading the dice' metaphor... but that still leaves the basic problem: until there's enough robust evidence, `don't know if this event is connected' is the only statistically valid response, but clearly we can't wait until that changes to communicate what's happening. Which makes me wonder if there isn't a better way to respond? Who do we think has got this right?

  4. Statistics are commonly misused; there are reasons for certain statistics in engineering that don't translate exactly to science.

    The statistics of risk are far more appropriate to decision-making under uncertainty, than the statistics of P-values, which are about releasing a product or procedure into daily life.

    I've always found the attribution question to be misframed. The whole business is much better construed as risk management than as detection.

  5. This sort-of amused me (also discussed in the second half of this BBC report too, the first half of which talks about the link between US and UK weather): Bank of England governer (Canadian) Mark Carney talking about the cost of the floods, but -

    he added that with natural disasters, “you get a hit to GDP as it's going on and then you get a recovery, you get that back later on with the repair."

    I've got this crazy idea: rather than needing stuff to be destroyed before we have an excuse to invest, why don't we.... invest... before....? Nononono, obviously talking nonsense.

    But I like Carney's implication that the follow-up neatly balances the economic damage. Maybe that'll apply to all climate damage: it'll end up being economically neutral as all destruction will be cancelled by the rebuild. Awesome.

  6. Yes, of course, in the end nothing costs anything, because every dollar spent is a dollar earned. I am sympathetic to this argument.

    Therefore we need some other measure than money about which prospective path to follow, because everything costs the same amount in the net.

  7. The immediate economic damage might cancel out. Plus, it might abate unemployment.

    But what about financial damage, i.e. virtual currency that just exists in books. There might be huge losses to bubble up later. The 10 million mansion with boat moorage at the Thames isn't just damaged - cleanup and new furniture would be a measly 100000. No, problem is, it can't be sold anymore or loans raised on it for any decent amount. Suddenly nobody wants my Thames mansion anymore.

  8. Here's some more context:
    Don't like the anomaly graph on its own though as the rainfall varies so much across the months.

    The CEH (mentioned in the report) are a good source for reports and publications on flooding in the UK:

  9. Not sure if it came across, but I was trying to be bitterly sarcastic. My point was, there are easy ways to invest in the things we need to build and we don't need to wait for them to be destroyed first. Yes, my income is your spending, but we have more control over the investment levers than that and can insert more income/spending into the system if we want.

  10. Pingback: England’s worst winter weather in at least 248 years – A Few Things Ill Considered

  11. Yesterday evening I read a bit in David R. Montgomery's Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations:

    What was left of the original soil lay trapped in the valley bottoms. Home to just a few thousand people in the 1930s, the area once supported luxurious villas that sent boatloads of grain to Rome. Continuing north, Lowdermilk reached Antioch where Paul began preaching the Gospel to the region's largest supply of potential converts. A hundred villages and towns surrounded the greatest and richest city of ancient Syria during the Roman occupation. Only seven villages remained inhabited in the 1970s. Four times as many lay beneath a marshy swamp built up by silt eroded off hillsides under aggressive Roman cultivation.

    And today Monbiot offers two of his detail photos of the UK flood:

    It has the force of a parable. Along the road from High Ham to Burrowbridge, which skirts Lake Paterson (formerly known as the Somerset Levels), you can see field after field of harvested maize. In some places the crop lines run straight down the hill and into the water. When it rains, the water and soil flash off into the lake. Seldom is cause and effect so visible.

    That’s what I saw on Tuesday. On Friday, I travelled to the source of the Thames. Within 300 metres of the stone that marked it were ploughed fields, overhanging the catchment, left bare through the winter and compacted by heavy machinery. Muddy water sluiced down the roads. A few score miles downstream it will reappear in people’s living rooms. You can see the same thing happening across the Thames watershed: 184 miles of idiocy, perfectly calibrated to cause disaster.

    It seems the poor Brits (or any of Homo S Sapiens?) haven't learned much since the collapse of the Roman (and many another) civilization...

  12. And now from a different perspective:
    Plumes of silt from estuaries in England and Wales captured in a satellite image on 16 February

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