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Attributable Human‐Induced Changes in the Likelihood and Magnitude of the Observed Extreme Precipitation during Hurricane Harvey - Risser - 2017 - Geophysical Research Letters - Wiley Online Library
Risser and Wehner: Record rainfall amounts were recorded during Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas, area, leading to widespread flooding. We analyze observed precipitation from the Global Historical Climatology Network with a covariate‐based extreme value statistical analysis, accounting for both the external influence of global warming and the internal influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. We find that human‐induced climate change likely increased the chances of the observed precipitation accumulations during Hurricane Harvey in the most affected areas of Houston by a factor of at least 3.5. Further, precipitation accumulations in these areas were likely increased by at least 18.8% (best estimate of 37.7%), which is larger than the 6–7% associated with an attributable warming of 1°C in the Gulf of Mexico and Clausius‐Clapeyron scaling. In a Granger causality sense, these statements provide lower bounds on the impact of climate change and motivate further attribution studies using dynamical climate models.
Harvey  attribution  Climate_Science_study  extremePrecipitation  hurricanes 
27 days ago by huntercutting
Quantitative attribution of climate effects on Hurricane Harvey's extreme rainfall in Texas - IOPscience
Wang et al 2018: Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017 as the first land-falling category 4 hurricane to hit the state of Texas since Hurricane Carla in September 1961. While its intensity at landfall was notable, most of the vast devastation in the Houston metropolitan area was due to Harvey stalling near the southeast Texas coast over the next several days. Harvey's long-duration rainfall event was reminiscent of extreme flooding that occurred in the neighboring state of Louisiana: both of which were caused by a stalled tropical low-pressure system producing four days of intense precipitation. A quantitative attribution analysis of Harvey's rainfall was conducted using a mesoscale atmospheric model forced by constrained boundary and initial conditions that had their long-term climate trends removed. The removal of the various trends of the boundary and initial conditions minimizes the effects of warming in the air and the ocean surface on Harvey. The 60 member ensemble simulations suggest that post-1980 climate warming could have contributed to the extreme precipitation that fell on southeast Texas during 26–29 August 2017 by approximately 20%, with an interquartile range of 13%–37%. While the attribution outcome could be model dependent, this downscaling approach affords the closest means possible of a case-to-case comparison for event attribution, complementing other statistics-based attribution studies on Harvey. Further analysis of a global climate model tracking Harvey-like stalling systems indicates an increase in storm frequency and intensity over southeast Texas through the mid-21st century.
Harvey  hurricanes  extremePrecipitation  Climate_Science_study  attribution 
27 days ago by huntercutting
Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017 - IOPscience
Oldenborgh et al 2018: During August 25–30, 2017, Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas and caused extreme precipitation, particularly over Houston and the surrounding area on August 26–28. This resulted in extensive flooding with over 80 fatalities and large economic costs. It was an extremely rare event: the return period of the highest observed three-day precipitation amount, 1043.4 mm 3dy−1 at Baytown, is more than 9000 years (97.5% one-sided confidence interval) and return periods exceeded 1000 yr (750 mm 3dy−1) over a large area in the current climate. Observations since 1880 over the region show a clear positive trend in the intensity of extreme precipitation of between 12% and 22%, roughly two times the increase of the moisture holding capacity of the atmosphere expected for 1 °C warming according to the Clausius–Clapeyron (CC) relation. This would indicate that the moisture flux was increased by both the moisture content and stronger winds or updrafts driven by the heat of condensation of the moisture. We also analysed extreme rainfall in the Houston area in three ensembles of 25 km resolution models. The first also shows 2 × CC scaling, the second 1 × CC scaling and the third did not have a realistic representation of extreme rainfall on the Gulf Coast. Extrapolating these results to the 2017 event, we conclude that global warming made the precipitation about 15% (8%–19%) more intense, or equivalently made such an event three (1.5–5) times more likely. This analysis makes clear that extreme rainfall events along the Gulf Coast are on the rise. And while fortifying Houston to fully withstand the impact of an event as extreme as Hurricane Harvey may not be economically feasible, it is critical that information regarding the increasing risk of extreme rainfall events in general should be part of the discussion about future improvements to Houston's flood protection system.
Harvey  attribution  Climate_Science_study  hurricanes  extremePrecipitation 
27 days ago by huntercutting
Hurricane Harvey Links to Ocean Heat Content and Climate Change Adaptation - Trenberth - - Earth's Future - Wiley Online Library
Trenberth et al 2018: While hurricanes occur naturally, human‐caused climate change is supercharging them and exacerbating the risk of major damage. Here using ocean and atmosphere observations, we demonstrate links between increased upper ocean heat content due to global warming with the extreme rainfalls from recent hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey provides an excellent case study as it was isolated in space and time. We show that prior to the beginning of northern summer of 2017, ocean heat content was the highest on record both globally and in the Gulf of Mexico, but the latter sharply decreased with hurricane Harvey via ocean evaporative cooling. The lost ocean heat was realized in the atmosphere as moisture, and then as latent heat in record‐breaking heavy rainfalls. Accordingly, record high ocean heat values not only increased the fuel available to sustain and intensify Harvey but also increased its flooding rains on land. Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human‐induced climate change. Results have implications for the role of hurricanes in climate. Proactive planning for the consequences of human‐caused climate change is not happening in many vulnerable areas, making the disasters much worse.
Plain Language Summary

Human‐induced climate change continues to warm the oceans which provide the memory of past accumulated effects. The resulting environment, including higher ocean heat content and sea surface temperatures, invigorates tropical cyclones to make them more intense, bigger, and longer lasting and greatly increases their flooding rains. The main example here is Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, which can be reasonably isolated in terms of influences on and by the environment. Hurricanes keep tropical oceans cooler as a consequence of their strong winds that increase evaporation. Here we show for the first time that the rainfall likely matches the evaporation and the corresponding ocean heat loss. Planning for such supercharged hurricanes (adaptation) by increasing resilience (e.g., better building codes and flood protection) and preparing for contingencies (such as evacuation routes, power cuts, and so forth) is essential but not adequate in many areas, including Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico where Harvey, Irma, and Maria took their toll.
Harvey  hurricanes  attribution  Climate_Science_study 
27 days ago by huntercutting
Harvey OS
Harvey: A distributed Operating System
os  foss  harvey  plan9 
8 weeks ago by cjitlal
RT : Big hit coming? Texas Schools in counties hit by could be looking at a $750M budget problem because of prop…
Harvey  from twitter
march 2018 by kitoconnell

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