Another flooding mega-disaster: Sri Lanka recovers from extreme flooding

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:14 PM GMT on January 19, 2011

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At least 43 are dead and thousands still in refugee camps due to extreme flooding in eastern Sri Lanka caused by record monsoon rains. According to the United Nations, the rains in recent weeks in Sri Lanka have been the heaviest in nearly 100 years of record keeping, and the flood that resulted was a 1-in-100 year event, according to The U.N. Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. Rainfall at Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, during the 42-day period December 1 - January 12 was 1606 mm (63"), which is about how much rain the station usually receives in an entire year (1651 mm, or 65".) Sri Lanka's previous most devastating flooding disaster was the 2004 tsunami, but as The Economist commented, "in terms of the numbers of people displaced and farmland inundated, the floods have been even more devastating than the tsunami of December 2004." Damage estimates start at $500 million, and much of Sri Lanka's agriculture has been severely damaged by the disaster. Also of concern is the large number of land mines from the recent Sri Lanka civil war that may have been unearthed by the floods. Water is also a major concern in the flood-hit area, as fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers rebels from mid-2007 to May 2009 damaged or destroyed almost all of the water facilities.


Figure 1. A family affected by the 2011 Sri Lanka floods braves the flood waters. Image credit: United Nations.

Sri Lanka is now the fifth nation in the past six month to suffer a flooding disaster unprecedented in its history. As I reported in a previous post, the other four mega-impact floods--the July 2010 Pakistan floods, the December - January Queensland Australia floods, the November 2010 Colombia floods, and the January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods--were all accompanied by an atmosphere laden with moisture, due, in part, due to sea surface temperatures over nearby ocean areas that were the 2nd or 3rd warmest on record. However, that was not the case for the Sri Lanka floods. Ocean temperatures during December 2010 were 0.2°C below average in the 5x5 degree square of ocean adjoining the island (5N - 10N, 80E - 85E). The floods appear to be due to the normal monsoon rains that typically affect the region this time of year, enhanced by the strong La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Satellite-estimated precipitation over Sri Lanka for January 3 - 9. Up to 18 inches (525 mm) fell over eastern Sri Lanka. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Jeff Masters

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what happen
was there a mass banning
real quiet
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Reality Check.


Energy from the Sun Has Not Increased


Global surface temperature (top, blue) and the Sun's energy received at the top of Earth's atmosphere (red, bottom). Solar energy has been measured by satellites since 1978.

The amount of solar energy received at the top of our atmosphere has followed its natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs, but with no net increase. Over the same period, global temperature has risen markedly. This indicates that it is extremely unlikely that solar influence has been a significant driver of global temperature change over several decades.
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Whew ! I feel like the Aflac Duck.....
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Hmmmmm. You would think it burn off the methane. LOL
No. When I put it on red beans methane levels go up to Jurassic levels.
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return flow detected

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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


OK, I'll bite. The Sun's approximate diameter is now 857,492.2 miles. What happens when you add 2 inches to that diameter?


For those who can't figure it out:

857,492.2 miles = 54.33 billion inches; 2 inches = 0.00000000368 percent.

Oh, and you should also look at the distance between the Sun and Earth:

93 million miles = 5.89 TRILLION inches; 2 inches = 0.0000000000339 percent.

Multiply these by the average global temperature (288 K) to get the temperature increase (Kelvin must be used because it is an absolute scale; a 1% warming would be 2.88 K/C or 5.18°F; remember to divide the percentage values I give by 100 first).
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I have enjoyed our discussions. I thank each and everyone of you.
L8R
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Just more baloney from somebody who would kill scientists for fun if they didn't worry about the consequences...


woah...killing anybody doesn't save the world in the long run.

:(
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 28 Comments: 1960
Quoting KrippleCreekFerry:
I read that some experts say our increase in hot sauce usage is contributing to GW.


Hmmmmm. You would think it burn off the methane. LOL
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Quoting KrippleCreekFerry:
I read that some experts say our increase in hot sauce usage is contributing to GW.

That's why I only use mild now.
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I read that some experts say our increase in hot sauce usage is contributing to GW.
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Quoting Surfcropper:


how many inches in a mile?


5,280'/mile
12"/foot
12 x 5280 = 63,360
63,360 Why?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
more rain to come with systems dropping down and crossing the gulf over fla till the end of the month if it plays out the way its showing





That's great news to hear. Speaking of storms, the storm that's expected to shoot to the NE dumped 2' of snow out in Breckenridge. Great for the snowboarders and skiers.
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The only reason to deny this and all of the other examples (see comment 271) that I have posted is to believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!

Science stunner: On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter
Paleoclimate data suggests CO2 "may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models"
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


OK, I'll bite. The Sun's approximate diameter is now 857,492.2 miles. What happens when you add 2 inches to that diameter?


how many inches in a mile?
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 28 Comments: 1960
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Quoting oracle28:


Really, what brings you to that conclusion.

I would bet that a 2 inch increase in the sun's diameter would heat things up by .1 C or whatever the consensus temp rise has been.


OK, I'll bite. The Sun's approximate diameter is now 857,492.2 miles. What happens when you add 2 inches to that diameter?
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Quoting Surfcropper:
Nothing can stop the glacial and interglacial periods of Earth. Not man, not the Sun. We have about 50,000 years to go until the world is an ice ball again. Our warming can stall the process for a thousand years or so but inevitably the forces of nature will make our superiority meaningless. In space, no one can hear you scream.

Live it up while its warm.

I'll drink to that. Cheers
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Quoting oracle28:


Dry ice would result in global drying, and I'm opposed to that.

Me too.
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Nothing can stop the glacial and interglacial periods of Earth. Not man, not the Sun. We have about 50,000 years to go until the world is an ice ball again. Our warming can stall the process for a thousand years or so but inevitably the forces of nature will make our superiority meaningless. In space, no one can hear you scream.

Live it up while its warm.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 28 Comments: 1960
Quoting Surfcropper:


I notice one thing about this diagram...between now and our extinction when the Sun goes red giant it says "gradual warming"

hmmmm
If we can make it through the Red Giant years global warming will abate. Everything will be real cool. Mankind will want those greenhouse gases.
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Quoting Surfcropper:


I notice one thing about this diagram...between now and our extinction when the Sun goes red giant it says "gradual warming"

hmmmm


GRADUAL, as in 0.000000009% per year (0.0000014% in the past 150 years). For perspective, the current average global temperature is about 288 Kelvin (15°C); multiply that by 0.0000014% and you get an increase of 0.000004 K over the past 150 years; the actual warming has been over 200,000 times higher.
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I have. Not much weather discussion there
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Well here's something off-topic that you'll like.

Your tax dollars at work:

Link

Idaho computer geeks helped destroy uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran....How funny is that?

But what if you used dry ice?


Dry ice would result in global drying, and I'm opposed to that.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yes it will, but over billions of years and not over the few centuries we have been discussing.


Really, what brings you to that conclusion.

I would bet that a 2 inch increase in the sun's diameter would heat things up by .1 C or whatever the consensus temp rise has been.

2-inches wider isn't much, especially right after the holidays
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Quoting JupiterKen:
Weather Bolg?

That's the second time you've asked that today. Here, try this link.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
the sun is definetly king
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 28 Comments: 1960
The sun is king
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I notice one thing about this diagram...between now and our extinction when the Sun goes red giant it says "gradual warming"

hmmmm
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 28 Comments: 1960
Quoting oracle28:


I always dump my extra ice on the ground, just to slow the warming. I call it localized man-made global cooling.
I bought a box of Freezy Pops at Wal Mart and gave them to the pigeons.
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A hole to another dimension has formed.
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Weather Bolg?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yes it will, but over billions of years and not over the few centuries we have been discussing.


The Sun

In the long term, the greatest changes in the Solar System will come from changes in the Sun itself as it ages. As the Sun burns through its supply of hydrogen fuel, it gets hotter and burns the remaining fuel even faster. As a result, the Sun is growing brighter at a rate of ten percent every 1.1 billion years.[90] In one billion years' time, as the Sun's radiation output increases, its circumstellar habitable zone will move outwards, making the Earth's surface hot enough that liquid water can no longer exist there naturally. At this point, all life on land will become extinct.[91] Evaporation of water, a potent greenhouse gas, from the oceans' surface could accelerate temperature increase, potentially ending all life on Earth even sooner.[92] During this time, it is possible that as Mars's surface temperature gradually rises, carbon dioxide and water currently frozen under the surface soil will release into the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect that will heat the planet until it achieves conditions parallel to Earth today, providing a potential future abode for life.[93] By 3.5 billion years from now, Earth's surface conditions will be similar to those of Venus today.





By the way, remember how CO2 levels were much higher in the distant past? Well, the Sun was also a lot dimmer, as much as 30% several billion years ago - without those higher CO2 levels, the Earth would have been really cold! In fact, that is exactly what happened when photosynthesis evolved and replaced a largely methane and CO2 atmosphere with oxygen:

The Great Oxygenation Event (GOE), also called the oxygen catastrophe or oxygen crisis or Great Oxidation, was the appearance of free oxygen (O2) in Earth's atmosphere. This major environmental change happened around 2.4 billion years ago.

Photosynthesis was producing oxygen both before and after the GOE. The difference was that before the GOE, organic matter and dissolved iron chemically captured any free oxygen. The GOE was the point when these minerals became saturated and could not capture any more oxygen. The excess free oxygen started to accumulate in the atmosphere.

The rising oxygen levels may have wiped out a huge portion of the Earth's anaerobic inhabitants at the time. From their perspective it was a catastrophe (hence the name). Cyanobacteria were essentially responsible for what was likely the largest extinction event in Earth's history. Additionally the free oxygen combined with atmospheric methane, triggering the Huronian glaciation, possibly the longest snowball Earth episode ever.


Not only that, the current cooler period is also attributable to a decrease in greenhouse gasses due to life:

The Azolla event occurred in the middle Eocene period,[1] around 49 million years ago, when blooms of the freshwater fern Azolla are thought to have happened in the Arctic Ocean. As they sank to the stagnant sea floor, they were incorporated into the sediment; the resulting draw down of carbon dioxide has been speculated to have helped transform the planet from a "greenhouse Earth" state, hot enough for turtles and palm trees to prosper at the poles, to the icehouse Earth it has been since.
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A sun spot has burned off a perfect circumference layer of the clouds  lol
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Check out the hole opening up over western Alabama!!! on visible satellite. It's a conspiracy going on out there!!
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Well here's something off-topic that you'll like.

Your tax dollars at work:

Link

Idaho computer geeks helped destroy uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran....How funny is that?

But what if you used dry ice?


Well, at least not all of our tax dollars are wasted.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Idaho, I seldom agree with you, but I like your sense of humor. I'll give you 10 points!
Well here's something off-topic that you'll like.

Your tax dollars at work:

Link

Idaho computer geeks helped destroy uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran....How funny is that?

Quoting oracle28:


I always dump my extra ice on the ground, just to slow the warming. I call it localized man-made global cooling.
But what if you used dry ice?
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Quoting oracle28:


Maybe sun growth is causing the global warming.


Yes it will, but over billions of years and not over the few centuries we have been discussing.
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Quoting HIPPOCRITT:
I blasted my AC in my car with the windows down earlier. I hope I have reversed all this Global Warming mumbo jumbo talk :\


What? Don't back away on me now. I was just about to open my thesaurus!

Just kidding. Regardless of what you say, you do invoke thought. I appreciate that. Thanks.
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Quoting caneswatch:
Finally got the internet back running at the house. Now, it's a little warm, about 10 degrees above normal here in S FL. Finally got rain again, and a decent amount from Monday afternoon to early this morning.
more rain to come with systems dropping down and crossing the gulf over fla till the end of the month if it plays out the way its showing



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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
look at it this way NE there is only 60 days left of winter then its spring


well,if I wasn't depressed by this weather before,I am now.Thanks!!
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I noticed that the southern tip of Africa hasn't been mentioned in the thread .

Flooding in southern Africa claims over 50 lives

The forecast for all these places is for more rain .

Brisbane got 3 inches yesterday.

Flooding has returned to Sao Paulo
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Finally got the internet back running at the house. Now, it's a little warm, about 10 degrees above normal here in S FL. Finally got rain again, and a decent amount from Monday afternoon to early this morning.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Keeper,I sure hope that comes to pass for February,we desperately need some relief,which for the foreseeable future we are still going to continue to get nailed up here.


You need the relief, we need the rain. That is as simple as it is, a lot of stuff here is turning brown, not good for South Florida.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
Also I think Some1Has2BtheRookie's answer was rather splendid in its reasoning and example. On several layers.


Thank you, JFLORIDA. I greatly appreciate that.
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Well the TPS reports are done.

Heading to Henry's to Quaff a few.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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