2016-09-12. In an English Village, a Lesson in Climate Change.

posted Sep 13, 2016, 2:42 PM by Alan Gould
By Tatiana Schlossberg, The New York Times. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: CARLISLE, England — After this ancient fortress city was hit by a crippling flood in 2005, its residents could take some comfort in the fact that it was the kind of deluge that was supposed to happen about once every 200 years. But it happened again four years later. And again last winter, when Storm Desmond brought record-breaking downpours that turned roads into rivers, fields into lakes, living rooms into ponds. ...In many places, the threat of climate change can still feel distant, even theoretical. But not here, a city of about 74,000 in the far northwest corner of England, where one of its rivers swelled to about 30 times its normal volume last year. About 2,000 houses and 500 businesses were damaged or destroyed in the flooding, and by July, thousands of people still were not able to return to their homes. Some of the city’s schools were flooded, and one of the biggest employers here, a McVitie’s biscuit factory, closed for four months after taking on, by one estimate, about 10 million gallons of water. Residents worry that the factory will close for good if it is flooded again.  ...Scientists have estimated that climate change has increased the chances of storms like Desmond by 40 percent in this part of Britain, though estimates are somewhat uncertain. “What we had in Carlisle — frequent series of storms and superstorms — are exactly what you would expect in a globally warming climate,” said Colin Thorne, a river scientist at the University of Nottingham. “So we shouldn’t be surprised that it happened.” “Figuring out how to deal with storms and flooding cities is going to have to happen all over the world,” he added....  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/science/carlisle-england-climate-change-flooding.html  See also these articles: August Ties July for Hottest Month on Record  and Oceans Are Absorbing Almost All of the Globe’s Excess Heat.