24 October 2011

Are US Floods Increasing? The Answer is Still No.

A new paper out today in the Hydrological Sciences Journal shows that flooding has not increased in the United States over records of 85 to 127 years.  This adds to a pile of research that shows similar results around the world.  This result is of course consistent with our work that shows that increasing damage related to weather extremes can be entirely explained by societal changes, such as more property in harm's way.  In fact, in the US flood damage has decreased dramatically as a fraction of GDP, which is exactly whet you get if GDP goes up and flooding does not.

I do not expect research to change anyone's views on the topic or alter the debate over climate change and extreme events.  The debate has moved well beyond that which can be resolved empirically.