The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pakistan Versinkt

Pix of Pakistan flooding here.

Here's a map via BBC I've seen in several places (what an elegant palette...):



At first glance I thought that was flooding in meters, but no, it is flooding in million cubic feet per second. This is about double the normal outflow of the Mississippi, according to Wikipedia, or about 12 times the flow of the Rhine, or for Westerners, about 4000 times the normal discharge of the Rio Grande. More to the point, it is about four times the normal discharge of the Indus river itself.

The population of Pakistan is over 130 million. Some estimates are saying that 12,000,000 people, or almost 10%, are directly affected by the flooding. This is more than the entire population of Belgium, Sweden or Greece. Or Ohio, or Ontario, or Washington and Oregon combined.

3 comments:

watchingthedeniers said...

Stunning.

I was thinking we need a google map marking all the areas effected across Eurasia.

That would certainly give a true indication of the scope of the disasters unfolding there.

n-g said...

According to a previously-published analysis of flood frequency (based on only a few decades of data) from Khan et al. (Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 2010), the peak discharge so far at Tarbela has a return frequency of 500-1000 years. Farther downstream, Taunsa has seen peak discharge consistent with a return period of 50-100 years.

Way downstream, Kotri, near Hyderabad, has a design capacity of only 850,000-900,000 cfs. If breaching of levees and flooding upstream doesn't reduce the flow enough, there could be more problems there.

Anna Haynes said...

WHERE can I find the 28m30sec *WEEKLY* video alerting the public to climate change, that I can have our local community TV station air?

NSF doesn't bother.

NASA doesn't bother - they're too busy doing NASA promo content.

It's not as if the public isn't already well educated on this, right?

It isn't as if the press isn't already doing a bang-up job of educating on this, right?

It isn't as if it really matters, right?


Here's what's important to communicate, over at "globalchange.gov" -

"# 4th America's Climate Choices Reports Released
# EPA Denies Petitions on Endangerment Finding
# Tom Karl Named Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
# National Research Council Releases First Three Studies from America's Climate Choices
# National Climate Adaptation Summit to take place May 25-27 in Washington, DC"


words - ones that aren't obscene, that is - fail me.



(p.s. maybe things have changed since I looked over there; if so, please let me know...)