October 1, 2022

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California: Megaflood threatens state and could be costliest natural disaster in history | Climate Change | USA | USA | USA | Weather | the world

According to Univisión, the publication is part of a study that alerts the authorities California About another possible threat, another big one is called an earthquake that is expected to hit the state and it will San Andreas fault.

See: Unusual flooding in Death Valley, a “once in 1,000 year” event

According to experts, the Mega flood This could result in the displacement of around 10 million people from their homes and billions in infrastructure losses.

How strong is the triggering event Mega flood? According to scientists, storms that could dump 3,200 liters of water per square meter within 30 days in some parts of the state would be catastrophic.

See: What is “dry lightning” that causes devastating wildfires?

Human-caused climate change greatly increases the chances of these floods occurring. Research says.

This photo shows a view of the Los Angeles city skyline with the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the background as the sun sets on February 7, 2019. (Chris Delmas/AFP)

CNN reports that Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist and researcher who participated in the study, explains. Mega flood “Extremely intense flooding over a wide region that could have devastating impacts on society in affected areas.” He adds that a mega-flood is similar to the 1,000-year flash floods seen this summer in St. Louis and Kentucky. But the one who waits California It covers a very wide area.

“This massive flood, according to experts California would transform the lowlands into a vast inland sea, may have previously occurred once in a lifetime in the state. But experts say Climate change This increases the probability of these catastrophic disasters, causing them to occur more often every 25 or 50 years.

“The area with the greatest destruction is California’s Central Valley, including Sacramento.”

Scientific Progress Course

For study, new Weather models and forecast climate conditions See two scenarios: what the storm system will look like today and later. What they discovered was because of that Climate changeFloods of 1861-1862 levels are likely to double today.

Cars line up in the Dodger Stadium parking lot for a Covid-19 test with the downtown Los Angeles skyline on November 14, 2020.  (Abu Gomes/AFP)
Cars line up in the Dodger Stadium parking lot for a Covid-19 test with the downtown Los Angeles skyline on November 14, 2020. (Abu Gomes/AFP)

What happens if the weather conditions listed in the study occur? The researchers found that the storms could produce 400% more water in the Sierra Nevada mountains than they do now.

According to Telemundo News, Major interstate highways will be closed for months Some urban centers will be submerged, including Stockton, Fresno and parts of Los Angeles. It will be the biggest disaster in the history of the world.

This panoramic image shows flooding in California's Death Valley National Park on August 5, 2022.  (AFP)
This panoramic image shows flooding in California’s Death Valley National Park on August 5, 2022. (AFP)

The study found that the intensity of the storms, creating the threat of debris flows and landslides, especially in mountainous areas left bare by recent wildfires, are more likely to receive large amounts of rain in a short period of time. “Overall there is more rain, more intensity per hour and stronger winds,” Swain said.

For every degree the Earth warms, the risk of a “megaflood” increases. .

This 1861 photo shows flooding in Sacramento, California.  (Sacramento Public Library).
This 1861 photo shows flooding in Sacramento, California. (Sacramento Public Library).

Background

Univision reminds California It has already suffered major floods in the past. The last mega flood of 1861-1862 killed thousands of people and caused massive destruction.

It says the event was characterized by a series of winter storms lasting several weeks. It created widespread catastrophic flooding in all of California’s low-lying areas, “turning the interior Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys into a temporary inland sea.” and flooded “much of the now densely populated coastal plain of present-day Los Angeles and Orange counties.”

The new state capital, Sacramento, was under three meters of water at the time of the tragedy and had been littered with debris for months, according to the study.

Nearly 4.5 meters of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada beginning in December 1861. CNN reports that it rained for 43 days, flooding mountain slopes and valleys.

About 4,000 people lost their lives, a third of the state’s property was destroyed, a quarter of California’s livestock population drowned or starved to death, and one in eight homes was a total loss to the floodwaters.

In addition, a quarter of California’s economy was subject to disaster, which caused the bankruptcy of the entire state, the American press recalls.

Swain warns Mega flood This will happen again, but it will happen worse and more often.

“We found that climate change has already increased the risk of a mega-flood in California, but future climate warming will increase the risk even more,” the study warns.

Many of today’s large cities, containing millions of people, are built directly on top of ancient floodplains, and the Swain put many people at risk.

In 1862, about 500,000 people lived in California. Now, the population of the state has crossed 39 million.

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