What science says will be the megastorm that threatens California

Located on the west coast of the United States, California has been hit by earthquakes, droughts and massive wildfires every year for generations. But some scientists have recently warned that a major storm is coming that could cause devastating floods like the one that happened in 1862.

160 years ago, 30 consecutive days of rain caused massive flooding that swept much of the state, diverting the Los Angeles River and shifting its mouth from Venice to Long Beach.

Storms are very likely to form in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, according to new scientific research. It strips off the long clouds of the sea and pours them toward the west coast.

Accompanied by violent winds, this column of steam is hundreds of kilometers wide and nearly 2,000 kilometers long. It carries so much water that, if it were all liquid, its flow would be about 26 times more than the Mississippi River would drain into the Gulf of Mexico at any given time. When this water torpedo reaches California, it hits a mountain and is pushed up. This cools the vapor payload and starts weeks of rain and even snow.

A similar storm today could evacuate up to 10 million people, close major interstate highways such as I-5 and I-80 for months, and disrupt Stockton, Fresno and Los Angeles, according to a Science Advances study. part of is submerged.

The looming superstorm is actually a rapid progression of what scientists call atmospheric rivers, the ultimate in dams, levees and diversions that California has built to harness the forces of nature. It will be an ordeal.

Global warming isn’t just exacerbating droughts and forest fires now. Warm air can hold more moisture, so atmospheric rivers can carry more precipitation. The infrastructure design standards, hazard maps, and disaster response plans that saved California from flooding in the past may soon be a thing of the past.

The scientists found in the study that because humans are burning fossil fuels to warm the planet, the chances of a megastorm this severe for a month or so across the state of California are 1 in 50 each year. said to have increased to If the average global temperature rises another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) in the next few decades, and current trends suggest it will, the probability of such storms will increase even further, almost 30 minutes becomes 1 of

But geological evidence suggests the West has been hit by massive floods multiple times over the last millennium, and new research shows how this threat has evolved in an era of man-made global warming. Researchers specifically looked at extreme but realistic hypothetical storms likely to cause flooding in California. Their findings show that powerful storms previously not expected to occur in the average human lifetime are rapidly becoming storms and pose a significant risk of occurring within 50 years.

Climate change is overloading heavy rain events and causing flash floods to occur more regularly, as has been observed several times in eastern Kentucky, St. Louis, and even California’s Death Valley National Park.

Daniel L. Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who prepared the new study with Xingying Huang of the National Atmospheric Research Center in Boulder, Colorado, said: “I would be very surprised if it was averted by 21.” He’s another ‘big one’ to threaten California, unlike a megaquake, an atmospheric river superstorm stalking the state. there is no. The meteorologist said he could spot rivers in the atmosphere a week ago from 5th.

With the findings of Dr. Huang and Dr. Swain, California hopes to be ready even sooner. With the help of supercomputers, state officials plan to map how all of the precipitation reaches land through rivers. They look for loopholes in evacuation plans and emergency services.

A government agency’s last study of the California floods more than a decade ago estimated it could cause $725 billion in property damage and economic disruption. This was three times the expected result of a massive San Andreas Fault earthquake and five times the economic damage of Hurricane Katrina, which submerged much of New Orleans for weeks in 2005.

Swain and Huang gave California a new script for what could be one of the most difficult months in California history. Dress rehearsal is about to begin. “Mother Nature has no obligation to wait for us,” said Michael Anderson, a California climatologist. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the only enemy of nations when it comes to the risks of

The worst-hit area will be California’s Central Valley, which includes Sacramento, Fresno, and Bakersfield, the study authors predict. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Central Valley, the size of Vermont and Massachusetts combined, produces a quarter of the U.S. food supply.

That’s five times the cost of Hurricane Katrina. This is the deadliest catastrophe in US history. “Such flooding in modern California would likely greatly exceed the damage caused by a major earthquake,” the study concludes.

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