31 May '16, 7pm

Houston flooding is a perfect storm of climate change and bad urban planning

Flooding in Texas killed six over Memorial Day weekend, bringing the death toll from the state’s unprecedented floods this year to at least 14. The area surrounding Houston has been hit especially hard: On Sunday, about 2,600 inmates were evacuated from two southeastern Texas prisons endangered by high water, and evacuation orders were issued Monday for homes along the Brazos River. Deluges like this aren’t exactly new to the area — downpours at this time last year brought a death toll of at least 30 — but as the climate warms, so does risk of flooding. In the past 30 years, reports the AP , the frequency of extreme downpours in the area has doubled. “One likely cause,” Texas’ state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon tells Grist, “is the increase in ocean temperatures from the Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic. That determines how much moisture is in the atmosphere.” As ...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/houston-flooding-is-a-per...

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