Something I saw but didn’t post on when I was reading about China’s most recent victims of our global coal addiction, was that China’s flood season was already looking grim. Monday I read that the Yangtze River was expected to exceed its 1998 catastrophic flow rate, reached during a flood season that claimed the lives of some 4,000 people. At that time, 34 people had been killed in western China with another 87 missing.
This morning it’s been reported that the toll has risen to over 1,000 people dead and missing.
While it’s difficult to tease out the effects that anthropogenic climate change may be having on these events, it’s more clear that human activity such as land use-increased aggradation is exacerbating flooding in the Yangtze basin. Warming and increased precipitation extremes in the Yangtze region and Northwestern China are consistent with expectations under anthropogenic warming, though not clearly attributable to it at this time.
Business Insider has some amazing pictures of the flooding.