Monday, February 3

Water, water everywhere

In a time when flooding in Somerset became a 'major incident' we shouldn't forget that it was under 2 years ago that the nation was experiencing major flooding events.

The Environment Minister, Owen Paterson, claims that he is doing everything possible to help those affected by flooding. Well everything accept tackling carbon emissions, which is steadily increasing the probability of being flooded. The reason he has so many problems with flooding and his successor will have flooding and other extreme weather events to deal with in the future, is because many misinformed politicians don't want wind farms in their constituencies. Do they really believe flooded farm land and countryside is more useful than wind farms?

Inland flooding caused by rain and bloated rivers isn't the only problem. The sad fact is that at the end of this century, sea levels will be about 1 metre higher than today because of carbon emissions already in the system and carbon emissions being emitted now. The consequences of this change will be that the coastal towns battered by storms, surges and high tides in the last two months won't just have repairable sea front damage with debris thrown across roads and sea defences dislodged.
Instead, at such times at the end of the century, the sea will infiltrate the towns roads, waves will smash the sea front buildings to pieces and coastal councils will have to manage a dignified retreat. 1 metre may not sound much, but imagine 1 metre higher sea levels on top of the current spate of storm surges and extreme weather. Plus, 1 metre is just the start!

The other flooding problem and one that wasn't expected as much as other types of flooding, is ground water rising and failing to disperse because of persistent rain for weeks and months, on top of record levels of rainful accumulated in previous years. This could be a serious consequence and outcome in the UK as a result of anthropogenic climate change. A bumper UK apple crop this season doesn't compensate much for the loss of apple trees cause by the flood water logging the trees roots and trunks.

Amongst all this, the BBC has failed the nation by not mentioning climate change in the last two months in connection with the flooding and storms. Google 'Climate Change BBC' and the only articles about it since the storms began in December are about Penguins, Prince Charles attack on deniers and Camerons 'suspicions'.

Just down the road - ground water flooding in Hambledon.
Add a metre to this.


Anonymous said...

Historically, Hambledon has been prone to flooding. Until recently, Portsmouth Water used to monitor the water levels in the ditches and wells around Hambledon. Groundwater levels were controlled by pumping flat out at Worlds End, first to fill the George Resovoir on Portsdown Hill via the 24 inch main, then switching to dump mode and pumping into the River Wallington.

TheVille said...

Yeah I know about Hambledons problems. However it isn't improved at all by higher risks of flooding caused by climate change.

It all becomes stupidly circular (using energy to solve a problem made worse by the use of fossil fuel energy) unless you start tackling the root cause of the issues. Whether those issues are increased risks at Hambledon, or flooding on a wider scale.