Thursday, June 19, 2008

an act of man?

So ask some scientists about the flooding in Iowa and along the Mississippi.

It isn't solely an act of man of course - 15 inches of rain did fall throughout much of Iowa before the floods.

But as various scientists and planners point out, Iowa isn't like it used to be, with farmland covering a bigger proportion of the land - and absorbing less rain. Same with straightened streams, cut down forests, etc. And of course, the increasing tendency to build in the flood plains themselves - and then acting surprised when they actually flood.

And over it all is the specter of climate change. Two so-called 500 year floods in 15 years? Is this a freak occurrence? Or is it our new climate?



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