Nearly 9,000 More Homes Lost to Flooding as China’s 41-Day Deluge Continues

China Rains May 23China Rains June 23

(Side-by-side LANCE- MODIS satellite shots of China and Southeast Asia on May 23 (left frame) and June 23 (right frame) of 2014. Notice the massive swath of cloud and stormy weather covering much of the region? It’s been like this for 41 days, now.)

* * * * *

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights? In the case of China, it’s 41 days and 41 nights and counting. A litany of previously abnormal storm events that, for too many parts of the world, have now become all too common.

Tempest after tempest wracks the atmosphere over China as moisture flooding off a super-heated Pacific Ocean keeps becoming entrained in a south-to-north flow that collides with an intense and unstable upper level storm track running a thousands-mile gauntlet between sprawling heat domes. To the southwest, one of these high pressure domes continues to establish over India and Bangladesh, squeezing monsoonal moisture into its periphery over southern China. These three storm generating and moisture injection patterns have combined and persisted since May 12th. With the result being episode-after-episode of catastrophic rainfall for China.

In the middle of May, a massive rain event emerging from this destructive weather pattern capsized 25,000 homes and forced more than half a million to flee. Over the past four days, a re-intensification of these brutish storms over six provinces once again resulted in nearly half a million evacuated and, this time, destroyed nearly 9,000 homes while damaging more than 60,000 others.

Already saturated grounds gave way to the recent bout of heavy rains triggering numerous landslides. In Jiangxi, inundation set off a school building collapse. In total, these events resulted in the loss of more than 26 souls. Heavy rains and hail also caused widespread damage to crops. In Hunan province alone, more than 127,000 hectares were destroyed.

Traffic Signs Submerged along a River in Lanxi

(River flooding in Lanxi, China submerges street lights and traffic signs. View more images of China flooding here.)

The worse may be yet to come as the rainy pattern continues to persist over much of China.

Storms Build With Global Warming, El Nino

Though historically vulnerable to flooding, China’s multi-river region has been treated to more and more severe events in recent years. Warm ocean waters associated with El Nino and human-caused climate change have triggered weather alterations spurring ever more intense periods of heavy rainfall during summer over much of Eastern China. The worst of these episodes occurred in conjunction with the monster 1998 El Nino and then record atmospheric heating resulting in both massive structural damage and a terrible human toll. In total, more than 5,000 souls were lost in an extreme flooding episode along the Yangtze River during that major atmospheric disturbance.

For 2014, a potentially strong El Nino developing in the Pacific is combining with record high global temperatures to spike severe weather risks yet again. In the case of China, the potential is for summer-long rains punctuated by a continuation of extreme episodes as the current flood pattern remains locked in place and gorges on an amped-up heat and moisture flow off the blazing Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Links:

LANCE- MODIS

Storms Leave 26 People Dead in Landslides Across China

Rainstorms, Floods Affect Millions in China

Two Week Long Flood Destroys 25,000 Homes in China

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48 Comments

  1. Spike

     /  June 23, 2014
    Reply
    • Very powerful trough digging in through that region last week. 25% loss is huge for a state like Bulgaria. Was looking through pictures of vehicles tossed about like soda cans by the floods a couple of days ago.

      Reply
  2. Spike

     /  June 23, 2014

    I was also struck by the NASA images of the recent Asian heat wave in this report.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/maps-show-indias-insane-june-heat-wave-2014

    Reply
  3. Griffin

     /  June 23, 2014

    One can only wonder at the scale of the ecological disaster that a flood in China brings. From the rain of the nasty particulate matter that is airborne overhead at any given time, to the “who knows what” that gets caught up in the stormwater runoff. Floods over there certainly bring more damage than just the destructive power of the water itself.

    Reply
    • If you look at the second MODIS shot you can see a cloud of said nasty particulate over NE China. On any given day you can find it in the satellite shot. You’d have to have ten volcanic eruptions over the same region every day to produce that kind of cloud. And that’s what we get every single GD day. China is the new flood basalt.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  June 23, 2014

        I have noticed that cloud. Thanks to you (though I openly question my own wisdom here because I am really starting to learn that ignorance is indeed, bliss, but I guess there’s no turning back now!) I have been looking at the MODIS pics and that crap just stands out as completely unnatural. It’s hard to look at it and even know that it is real. On a side note, the refinery fire in nothern Iraq has been quite visible for days, about midway up the Tigris, with the black cloud drifting off to the southeast.

        Reply
    • Climate prediction center shows May was also the hottest on record globally with March-May as second hottest on record.

      NOAA showed May at +0.74 above the global average.

      Reply
    • In the Arctic, we have 50 degree F air temps in the near-shore Beaufort over Arctic Ocean waters. Recently ice free zone showing rapid warming.

      Reply
  4. Colorado Bob

     /  June 23, 2014

    Globe breaks May temperature record (Update)

    Driven by exceptionally warm ocean waters, Earth smashed a record for heat in May and is likely to keep on breaking high temperature marks, U.S. experts say.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday said May’s average temperature on Earth of 59.93 degrees Fahrenheit (15.54 degrees Celsius) beat the old record set four years ago. In April, the globe tied the 2010 record for that month. Records go back to 1880.
    May was especially hot in parts of Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Spain, South Korea and Australia, while the United States was not close to a record, just 1 degree warmer than the 20th century average.
    Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb and other experts say there’s a good chance global heat records will keep falling, especially next year because an El Nino weather event is brewing on top of man-made global warming. An El Nino is a warming of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that alters climate worldwide and usually spikes global temperatures.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-06-global-temperature-all-time-high.html#jCp

    Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  June 24, 2014

    Big Waves in Jet Stream Mean Extreme Weather
    Scientists pinpoint drivers of heat waves, droughts and flooding in a new study

    In the messy, chaotic atmosphere of our planet meanders the jet stream, a wiggly belt of air circling the mid-latitudes. As the belt moves south, it pulls cool air from the Arctic toward the tropics. Then it switches direction, pulling warm air from the tropics toward the poles.

    Sometimes, in response to natural climate patterns, the jet stream becomes abnormally wavy. Such amplified waves have coincided with heat and cold waves, droughts and flooding across the world, according to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

    Link

    Reply
    • New study by Francis? Fantastic. As to no-one’s come out… Someone needs to be assertive on Francis’ behalf. Her research has a very high predictive value, short, medium, and long-term.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 24, 2014

        No, but it backs-up her thinking , my thinking , your thinking , and everyone else tuned into this wavy gravy jet stream we’re seeing now. It would be interesting to see when was the last time the jet was flowing without these high amplitude waves in it.

        “I think [the paper] has done a fabulous job of basically documenting a relationship that most people believed existed,” said Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University, who was not affiliated with the new study. “[It] has shown that, indeed, many of the extreme events that have occurred in the past, going back to the late 1970s, are associated with very large waves in the jet stream.”

        The study is particularly relevant in the context of a controversial hypothesis championed by Francis that the jet stream will get more wavy in the future with climate change (ClimateWire, April 3).

        Reply
  6. I think the bulk of the population expects to experience an instantaneous climate shift, not a gradual shift. They think climate change means that today they have 50 degree weather with tall swaying grass and fluffy trees. Tomorrow they wake up and it is 104 degrees and all they see is sand dunes.

    I can see the headlines of concern now in the media regarding the Asian floods, “iPhone 6 production reduced at Foxcconn factory for an entire month due to rain, World in a panic!”.

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  June 24, 2014

    252. SavannahStorm
    1:46 AM GMT on June 24, 2014

    … Top 5 wettest June days on record at the Savannah International
    Airport…

    Top 5 wettest June days at the Savannah International Airport…
    1. June 23 2014 6.61 inches so far
    2. June 29 1999 6.60 inches
    3. June 27 1887 5.45 inches
    4. June 29 1907 5.07 inches
    5. June 12 1947 5.05 inches

    Note that the average precipitation total for the month of June
    is 5.95 inches.

    Records date back to 1871 at the Savannah International Airport

    WOW, more than a month’s worth of rain in a day!

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2705#commenttop

    Reply
    • 6 inches is an extraordinary storm. Watched a beast like that build through the course of a day about ten years ago. This one probably popped up over a few hours…

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 24, 2014

        For every 1C degree raise in SST , there is 7% more water vapor in the heat engine. That is why more than 2 feet of rain has fallen in the area near Omaha , this month . That is why the 2 most expensive natural disasters in Canadian history happened just one year ago . These rain events come every week now. All over the world. And the pace of where they are occurring is picking up speed as well . The system moves heat via the water cycle, May was the hottest because the oceans were at record highs.

        The amount of floods we will all have deal with this summer , is rather scary . Corn or any other plant does not do well, when 2 feet of rain falls on it in three weeks.

        Reply
        • Huge amount of water vapor hitting the atmosphere now. Not looking forward to the floods once temps start to go back down and a portion if that moisture overburden is wrung out.

    • Those are just for one day apiece?

      That is insane. Peaches / peanuts other crops won’t like that.

      Reply
    • 4-10 inches of rain with a rail line washed out as well. That is one hell of a storm.

      Reply
    • Bulgaria, China, Paraguay… Rather long list this week.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 24, 2014

      The world needs to see this pain. many thanks for this post.

      Reply
      • And speaking of El Niño, we have a synoptic west wind back burst featuring a broad area of 20 mph winds along the equator just north of New Guinea and the Solomons.

        Looks like quite healthy atmospheric feedback. Getting a shot of it now.

        Reply
    • Interesting to see that the last major flooding was during the 1983 El Niño…

      Worth noting that today global SSTs are + 1.14 C. June looks like another near record/record month.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 24, 2014

        The rain will come , like we have never seen .

        Reply
        • OK. Here’s an absolutely outrageous stat for you. It’s 22 C in St. Louis. At 68 N on the Mackenzie River in the NWT it’s 26 C.

  8. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 24, 2014

    ColoradoBob, “The study is particularly relevant in the context of a controversial hypothesis championed by Francis that the jet stream will get more wavy in the future with climate change (ClimateWire, April 3).”

    Her original & primary thesis of a meandering world wide jet stream causing bizarre weather anomalies has been confirmed. She is just towering on YouTube.

    When she predicts that the jet stream “will get more wavy” in the future, it would be a cows will probably continue to eat grass statement.

    By the way – I never saw any caps in your posts.

    Reply
  9. Tom

     /  June 24, 2014

    Robert, CO Bob, others:

    These extreme weather events are causing the inability to grow (enough) food and will directly lead to rioting and chaos as shortages become common. Governments will be hard-pressed to remain in power when a large portion of their population is starving or can no longer afford extremely expensive basic food (and/or water). Difficult times ahead.

    Reply
    • james cole

       /  June 24, 2014

      Some Minnesota farmers faced drought over the last couple years. Then the weather switched, and now flooded fields present the problem. A 25% overall loss is expected. Rain is in the forecast again. This abrupt switch from drought to flood is very evident in our upper Midwest weather patterns now and has been for some time. But I will say the last 3 years have been extreme in both directions. We are all wondering what an El Nino could bring by winter up here.

      Reply
      • El Nino intensifies the storm track even as it typically results in warmer winters. It really depends on whether this one is strong enough to blow through the west coast blocking pattern. If not, winter will again be cold and stormy for your region due to a persistence of the extreme dipole. If so, it will be warmer, wetter, stormier.

        As for California, they’ll see severe floods if El Nino is strong enough to blow through the blocking pattern. So their weather flip-flop may well be similar to what you’re experiencing in Minnesota with the potential for worst ever flooding a high risk under such conditions.

        Reply
  10. I hope this business centric effort amounts to something that benefits us all.

    First-of-its-kind Risk Analysis Quantifies Potential for Economic Disruptions; Independent, Non-partisan Study Breaks New Ground in Climate Risk Assessment

    “New York, June 24 – The American economy could face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” summarizes findings of an independent assessment of the impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level, and shows that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change. The findings also show that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience, and through immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.”

    http://riskybusiness.org/blog/risky-business-report-press-release

    Reply
  11. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 24, 2014

    Jeez, doesn’t the heading “Risky Business Project” tell us who is lecturing whom & about what?

    Tom Steyer is one of the three lead honchos of the “Risky Business Project” along with billionaire Bloombags & almost billionaire bankster Henry, none of whom is a scientist.

    Indeed, there is only one genuine scientist in the entire group of other lesser characters in the project, & he is a medical man.

    That lesser bunch includes master manipulator Robert Rubin.

    Tom Steyer is a billionaire investment guru – a Yalie with an MBA from Stanford.

    Tom Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986. Farallon has grown to become one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the United States with over $20bn in funds under management. Steyer’s net worth is reported to be $1.6bn.

    Tom & Farallon made billions in coal investment.

    But now Tom says coal is “not a good investment strategy.”

    Tom says that the big bucks are in solar.

    This is from the Project site suggested by dtlange.
    In Tom’s own words words & without a flinch; “Climate change is nature’s way of charging us compound interest for doing the wrong thing.”

    Tom doesn’t want to pay compound interest – he only wants to collect compound interest.

    Steyer is the ultimate rent-seeker who depends on government connections to produce subsidies and mandates that make his “green” energy investments profitable. He also is, or was until recently, a Gas Attack in Kinder Morgan, which is building a competitor to the Keystone pipeline.

    More on “environmentalist” megabucks co-opting hedger Tom at The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer.

    Reply
    • The big money types are, as ever, angling for an opportunity. For Steyer, Bloomberg and Paulson, they may well have, over the past couple of years, come to the realization that it’s renewable energy or bust. In my view, they’re the first of likely many from this group to start having this ‘epiphany.’

      The beast is what it is. Better to have them promoting renewable energy than fighting it tooth and nail. But if you’re looking for benevolence, or action that deals with other systemic harms outside of the current pet projects you’re likely to be very disappointed.

      My focus remains on promoting larger policy positions. If you do that, the investment types will follow. They’ll be tossing money around and seeking gov’t support for something. May as well be renewable energy. The rents/equality fight, in this context, will come down to how the carbon tax is implemented. That’s where the ugly sausage making comes into play. We should shoot for the most aggressive tax and dividend plan. That way, we get another strong carbon reduction policy in addition another democratizing mechanism. The dispersed nature of renewables adds to this trend and don’t forget the massive disruption of concentrated capital in the form of stranded fossil fuel assets.

      Win, win, win.

      We just have to stick to our guns and keep prodding the finance types along. Roosevelt was a master at this. We could learn much from him.

      Reply
  12. Linked this yesterday on the weather underground too. Cant remember I have seen these on the coast of Norway, although supposedly they aren’t that uncommon – but the size and magnitude is somewhat uncommon.

    http://www.nrk.no/sorlandet/forventer-flere-skypumper-1.11796025

    (Need to google translate that I am afraid). They naturally predict more of these with climate change.

    Reply
  13. I feel for the people that went through this.

    Reply

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