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Do You Know The Swim, You Better Learn Quick, Jim!
By Ernest Stewart
Those who don't know the swim, better sing the hymn."
Day After Day ~~~ Shango
Australian scientists say peak rainfall will also be more intense, over a more confined area and over a shorter time span. And when overwhelming levels of rain fall on asphalt, tiles, and cement, drainage systems built for a different climate regime may fail to cope. Especially if they're 50 to 100 years old -- like they are in so many US cities and towns!
Conrad Wasko, a PhD candidate in the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New South Wales says:
"As warming proceeds, storms are shrinking in space and time. They are becoming more concentrated over a smaller area, and the rainfall is coming down more plentifully and with more intensity over a shorter period of time. When the storm shrinks to that extent, you have a huge amount of rain coming down over a smaller area. Total precipitation."Most climate predictions are based on computer simulations that extend existing data. However, this new study is based on storms that have already happened.
Wasko and his colleagues report in Geophysical Research Letters that they analyzed data from 1,300 rain gauges and 1,700 temperature stations across Australia to look for a link in the local temperature to the total precipitation, duration and area of a cloudburst.
The meteorologist's rule of thumb is that the potential moisture content of the atmosphere increases by 7% with every 1 degree Celsius temperature rise, so it follows that summer storms should potentially deliver more rainfall. The same scientists last year established that storms were getting briefer in duration.
"We are finding the pattern repeating itself over and over, happening around Australia and around the world"This latest study looked at the area of rainfall and found that the heaviest downpour had moved nearer to the center of each storm. And although the testing ground was confined to Australia, the study could have a message for city planners and hydraulic engineers worldwide.
Professor Ashish Sharma, one of the co-authors of the study, says:
"Australia is a continent that spans almost all the climate zones in the world. Mediterranean, tropical, temperate, subtropical -- everything except the Arctic or Antarctic. So the results hold a lot of value. We are finding the pattern repeating itself over and over, happening around Australia and around the world.Then, the water finally runs off into the rivers, causing them to overflow their banks, and down the line burst the many dams hanging on by a thread, not to mention taking out thousands of teetering bridges. Did I mention that all this disaster is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak? So, how long can you tread water, America? If you want to find out for yourself how long you can tread, just keep electing climate change deniers!
06-10-1923 ~ 05-01-2016
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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.