Thursday, August 21, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

New Study: Increase In Reported UK Flooding Due To Population Growth, Not Global Warming

Met Office Rejects Research Findings On UK Flooding

A rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton. In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists have discovered that although the number of reported floods has gone up during the 20th and 21st Century, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers over the same period.--, 19 August 2014

The increase in flooding in Britain is due to urban expansion and population growth rather than climate change, a study suggests. Derek Clarke, a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, ruled out a link between last winter’s devastating floods and climate change. However, the Met Office does not agree, and Dame Julia Slingo, its chief scientist, said “all the evidence suggests there is a link” with global warming. --Hannah Devlin, The Times, 19 August 2014

A long term dataset of reported flooding based on reports from the UK Meteorological Office and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is described. This is possibly a unique dataset as the authors are unaware of any other 100+ year records of flood events and their consequences on a national scale. Flood events are classified by severity based upon qualitative descriptions. There is an increase in the number of reported flood events over time associated with an increased exposure to flooding as floodplain areas were developed. The data was de-trended for exposure, using population and dwelling house data. The adjusted record shows no trend in reported flooding over time, but there is significant decade to decade variability. --Andrew J. Stevens et al., Hydrological Sciences Journal, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2014.950581

In February 2014, Nigel Lawson and Brian Hoskins (Chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change) appeared on the BBC’s Today show to answer whether there was “a link between the rain in recent days and global warming”.In late June, the Guardian reported that a decision by Fraser Steel of the BBC Complaints Unit had issued a finding that Lawson’s views were “not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research”: Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research … and I don’t believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience… In respect to the linkage between the floods and global warming, Fraser Steel’s views are unequivocally wrong. --Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 13 July 2014


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