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NASA: it rained so hard the oceans fell

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Manitoba wallows in 300-year flood after rapid spring snow melt in combination with heavy rains drive Assiniboine River to record flood levels.

Tennessee has 1000-year deluge flooding Nashville. In just two days up to 15 inches of rain (420 billion gallons) fell from the sky.


North Carolina suffers 500-year rainfall when up to 19 inches fell in three days. This is its second 500-year rainfall in 11 years.

Monster hail. Seven US states broke their records for largest hail stones with South Dakota setting the all-time USA record at 8.0” in diameter that fell on July 23, 2010. It takes extremely high energy storms to create big hail.

Brazil’s worst single-day natural disaster in its history. Rio de Janeiro inundated by torrential rains causing multiple landslides and deaths in heavily populated areas. Up to 12 inches fell in just a few hours in parts of Brazil.


Bolivia pounded by torrential rains that caused landslides and widespread flooding.

Columbia hobbled by 11 months of nearly non-stop rain as five to six times more rainfall than usual inundates the nation. Millions of disaster victims and billions in damages. Colombia’s President: “the tragedy the country is going through has no precedents in our history.” Country Director in Colombia, Gabriela Bucher: "Some parts of the country have been set back 15 to 20 years."


Would these recent extreme events have happened without all our fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere? NASA’s top climatologist, James Hansen, says: "almost certainly not".

Dr. Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, explains in Joe Romm’s must read Climate Progress blog:

“It’s not the right question to ask if this storm or that storm is due to global warming, or is it natural variability. Nowadays, there’s always an element of both there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. “

Meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Jeff Masters told Joe Romm:

“In my thirty years as a meteorologist, I’ve never seen global weather patterns as strange as those we had in 2010. The stunning extremes we witnessed gives me concern that our climate is showing the early signs of instability.”

Munich Re, one of the world’s top re-insurance companies, states:

“…it would seem that the only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate changeGlobally, 2010 has been the warmest year since records began over 130 years ago, the ten warmest during that period all falling within the last 12 years. The warmer atmosphere and higher sea temperatures are having significant effects. Prof. Peter Hoeppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research/Corporate Climate Centre: ‘It’s as if the weather machine had changed up a gear. Unless binding carbon reduction targets stay on the agenda, future generations will bear the consequences.’”

As the Economist magazine recently summed up when talking about how some climate changes are happening much quicker than the worst case predicted by climate models: 

"When reality is changing faster than theory suggests it should, a certain amount of nervousness is a reasonable response.

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