Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flooding in the U.S. Midwest - climate impact?

It's not your imagination; there have been more reports of flooding in the upper Midwest lately. It's impossible to say for sure that it's a climate change impact, but conditions have certainly changed.

The Findley (Ohio) Courier interviewed Robert McCall, an Ohio State University Extension educator who focuses on watershed management about the more frequent flooding they've been experiencing. The uncertainty McCall expressed is indicative of where we're all at now, as we deal with new patterns of extreme weather, although he sounds like he could use to follow Climate Frog and learn some stuff.

Q: We have flooded seven times in the last 14 months. Is this a fluke, or have we entered a new era in which flooding will permanently be a much bigger problem than in the past?

A: We are in an new era, that's for sure. What era that is, speaking from a climate standpoint, I'm not sure. The researchers, the scientists, the national figureheads, nobody can really come to an agreement, I don't think, across the board as to what that is. If global warming ... is caused by man-made, land use practices, I'm not sure what's going on there. Or ... it's just the natural cycle of things. I don't know how much influence, obviously we probably have some influence, but to what degree I'm not sure.

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