Toronto flash flood won't come as a surprise to those who pay attention to climate change

It's time for meteorologists to start telling the truth about this issue

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      Meteorologists on television and radio newscasts appear to have an aversion to uttering the words "climate change" in connection with extreme weather events.

      I can't recall hearing this mentioned by any of the best-known weather forecasters in the business, such as Claire Martin, Mark Madryga (who shills for Port Metro Vancouver on the side), and Michael Kuss. 

      As a result, the public is given no indication that a flash flood in Toronto—in which the monthly average rainfall was dumped on the city in two hours—might be linked to carbon-dioxide emissions.

      Weathercasters also avoided mentioning global warming when sections of Calgary and High River were underwater as a result of unprecedented rainfalls.

      But a 2008 book by B.C. writer Chris Wood makes it clear that climate change can be linked to intense flooding.

      In Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis in North America, Wood cited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change research that describes a continental redistribution of rainfall.

      In the book, UVic climate scientist and now Green party MLA Andrew Weaver said: "Draw a line at the 49th parallel. There's more water above the line, less water below."

      Wood reported that Canada is expected to get as much as 40 percent more rainfall by the middle of this century.

      The United States, on the other hand, will lose a third of its rainfall in some of its most prosperous areas, notably the U.S. southwest.

      "Storm tracks will shift toward the north over North America, Europe and Asia, and south in the southern hemisphere," Wood wrote. "With them, precipitation will also move, roughly, toward the poles. Bigger, windier storms will deliver heavier rain."

      It's increasingly clear that climate change–induced sudden and intense rainfall will cost Canadian municipalities and provincial governments a great amount of money. We saw it when Calgary was shut down for several days, and we're witnessing it again in Toronto this week.

      If meteorologists on TV and radio stations start talking about the effects of climate change, it will better prepare the public for this inevitability.

      A 2012 survey of American Meteorological Society Members indicated that 89 percent believe that global warming is occurring, whereas seven percent didn't know, and only four percent were climate-change deniers.

      Of those who believe in the reality of global warming, 59 percent attributed it mostly to human activity. Another 34 percent either thought human activity was involved or didn't feel scientists knew enough to determine the cause. And 76 percent felt that global warming would be either very harmful or somewhat harmful if it weren't addressed over the next 100 years.

      As a consumer of television news, I would like to know where the meterologists on the TV and radio stations stand on this issue. It might inform my choice as to which broadcast to rely on in the future when there's more flash flooding along the lines of what we've seen in Calgary and Toronto.




      Jul 9, 2013 at 10:40am

      It's not climate change but the passing of Planet X niburu that is causing extremes in weather

      the sky is falling

      Jul 9, 2013 at 11:28am

      It is unfortunate climate change is given a bum rap along with science in favor of the unexplainable or some where from outer space. Science says, industry does and excessive down pours create flooding.


      Jul 9, 2013 at 11:32am

      Whatever...Life is meant to be a struggle..always has been always will be.

      When it rains, it pours

      Jul 9, 2013 at 11:54am

      Whatever isn't a science and people are to learn through their mistakes. And not to give to pretense that excessive carbon emissions can't sweep a city with flash flooding.
      Whats next? And don't forget to buy a life jacket, its a must.

      life is enough of a struggle

      Jul 9, 2013 at 12:02pm

      Without having your house being destroyed by flooding and having no insurance is like having no life but celebrating the Stampede is going to make it all right, Yahoo!


      Jul 9, 2013 at 12:44pm

      Interesting. The IPCC came out this week and said all these dire things are happening because CO2 is not up to a high of 0.04% of which man is responsible for about 5% and natural variability is the other 95%. Since 1961 the world temp has gone up a whoping 0.5C.

      So of course the sky is falling, all bad things are caused by man. At the moment all they want is our money, but soon they will have to come to get our young maidens to sacrifice to the CO2 gods.

      1950 - Nuclear Winter
      1960 - Population bomb
      1970 - Oil shortage and new Ice Age
      1980 - Ozone Hole
      1990 - Y2K
      2000 - Global Warming
      2013 - ???


      Jul 9, 2013 at 1:14pm

      Just a note, Charlie - Claire Martin hasn't been a Vancouver weathercaster since last September when she moved to Toronto.


      Jul 9, 2013 at 1:37pm

      Please do not feed the trolls.

      John-Albert Eadie

      Jul 9, 2013 at 1:38pm

      The scientists are virtually unanimous on climate change. And the pace of change is accelerating. New and increasing rates of methane release from the increasingly melting permafrost and ice at the poles means we are seeing changing weather patterns already.

      Along with our coming shortage of food world-wide climate change is this planet's most serious problem.

      We cannot hope for a technological way out - we will have to start rationing in a more and more social world. So to say, our children's children will be forced to become good ... or die in hell. We need to start now.

      Charlie Smith

      Jul 9, 2013 at 1:45pm

      Thanks Ger. I'll make an adjustment.