May 16, 2014

Downed tree after heavy rains flooded Morgan Run.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Here on the East Coast, we had another bout of flash flooding due to the large amount of rain that fell from yesterday, through last night, and into this morning.  It was just a couple of weeks ago that the Mid-Atlantic region received approximately 5 inches of rain in one day, which resulted in local flooding.

Beached log on concrete pier at Morgan Run following heavy rain.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today it was between 3 and 5 inches of rain that fell.

Morgan Run flood after heavy rain.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The 3 photographs above are from Morgan Run, a normally placid stream.  By the time these photographs were made, it had already receded to within its banks.  Meanwhile, over 3,000 miles away, wildfires are burning in San Diego County, California.

Cracked ground in the Badlands

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Significantly, the National Climate Assessment was recently released.  This is a report generated by the Federal Advisory Committee in association with the National Academy of Sciences and summarizes the current and future impact of climate change for the United States.  The report also contains recommendations for coping with these effects.  It is worth reviewing the report for information about specific regions-the current weather events experienced on both coasts are spot-on for what the report indicates.

Another document well-worth spending some time with is the World Economic Forum’s Insight Report: Global Risks 2014.  This report is important as it discusses a broader spectrum of global issues and their interconnectedness.  Scrolling to page 9 of the report provides a table listing the top 10 “Global Risks of Highest Concern for 2014”-four of which (numbers 3, 5, 6, & 8) are directly related to climate change.

What is important about this document is that it stresses the fact that all 10 of these issues have an impact on each other and therefore produce a systemic, synergistic effect.  Globally, not just locally.  In an area where is there is drought, there will be food shortages, which in turn puts pressure on a government to deliver assistance to starving people.  If the government is unable, or unwilling, to intervene, then other countries and non-governmental organizations have decisions to make in terms of whether or not to provide assistance.  This is but one example and the Insight Report contains text to describe, and graphs to illustrate, these types of relationships.  As with the National Climate Assessment, recommendations for intervention are provided as it does no use to highlight problems without discussing potential solutions.  This is an important read.

Front page of Sunpaper advising about sea level change.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It is a bit unnerving to think that what is currently being experienced locally and globally in all of the areas addressed in both reports is not yet the “extreme” of what they could yet become.  The takeaway point is that these conditions currently exist and we are well on the way to making longer-term predictions become the reality-we just need to continue living the way we are without incorporating changes recommended in these, and many, many other, reports.

Take care.

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