California Superstorms, Scepticism Warranted???

Yesterday, I posted on reports that scientists anticipate some sort of gigantic megastorm that could be worse than an earthquake.

https://bearroombrawl.wordpress.com/

Today, this hit the news:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110117/us_yblog_thelookout/scientists-warn-california-could-be-struck-by-winter-superstorm

The quote that struck me was here:

“The risk is gathering momentum now, scientists say, due to rising temperatures in the atmosphere, which has generally made weather patterns more volatile.

The scientists built a model that showed a storm could last for more than 40 days and dump 10 feet of water on the state. The storm would be goaded on by an “atmospheric river” that would move water “at the same rate as 50 Mississippis discharging water into the Gulf of Mexico,” according to the AP. Winds could reach 125 miles per hour, and landslides could compound the damage, the report notes.

Such a superstorm is hypothetical but not improbable, climate researchers warn. “We think this event happens once every 100 or 200 years or so, which puts it in the same category as our big San Andreas earthquakes,” Geological Survey scientist Lucy Jones said in a press release.”

Three things leapt out at me:

1 – The idea that temperatures are rising. You can find a big debate on that at this site:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/

2- The absolutely Biblical nature of the posited storm – forty days, 50 Mississippi’s, 10 feet of water and hundreds of billions in damage – is based on a computer model.  Anthony Watts (linked above) has posted some intriguing information that suggests such computer models are routinely wrong almost by orders of magnitude.

3- Finally, the scientists say the scenario is “hypothetical but not improbable.”  Hmmm. I translate that to mean “something we have conceived  that is not inconceivable.”

None of this should deter anyone from being prepared. Emergency preparedness is a good, conservative principle. Protecting yourself and your family is basic to any conservative’s worldview. And we do get rain and floods, boy do we. But I am a little sceptical of this. Pass the salt.

UPDATE

I am not the only one with a taste for salt. Here is a quote from WattsUpWith That

“It used to be enough to push worry about El Niño in the news, now the USGS takes it to whole new level. I don’t dispute the historical evidence of the 1861/62 flooding, but scaring the crap out of the public won’t really help them plan effectively. The public has already been disaster fatigued from too much climate disaster projection.”

So, don’t scare us, help us plan…

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