A Spoke in the Bicycle Wheel of Global Warming

University of Iowa campus during flood fo 2008.

University of Iowa campus during flood of 2008.

Summer is prime time for bicycling, but global warming has intensified the severity of storms.

Yes, it is flooding again.  Not as bad as in 2008, or 2010, but it is still grim. The storm on June 24 flooded streets, parks, and buildings.

Flood 2015, Central Iowa

Flood of 2015 in Central Iowa

Roads are closed.  Trails are closed.

It has put a spoke in my wheel.  We’ve had to ride circuitous routes to reach our destinations.

It is now normal to have flooding at least once a year in the Midwest.

The University of Iowa is still rebuilding after the damage of 2008:  works in progress include the new studio-arts building, the new music building, Hancher Auditorium, and the Iowa Memorial Union ground floor.

The Iowa Flood Center was established in 2009 at the University of Iowa as a reaction to the flood of 2008.  One of the programs, “Living with Floods,” teaches “the interconnectedness of our environment and the watersheds in which we live” and strategies for mitigating the consequences of flooding.

The website explains the beginning of the center:

In between filling sandbags and moving out of flood-endangered buildings, UI researchers began collecting time-sensitive data on many aspects of the flood — from high-resolution data to document flood water elevations and contaminated sediments deposited by flood waters.

This year, we have had so much rain that it is very green and beautiful.  And then it gets dangerous.

We are terrified by storms with good reason.

The storms are violent.  Last year on June 17, 70-mile-per-hour winds ripped up a linden tree and pitched it on top of our garage.  Our garage was destroyed.  Trees were down all over the city.

Our garage hit by a tree.

Our garage hit by an enormous tree, 2014.

Global warming has increased the severity of storm, floods, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, and winter weather.  The NASA website on Global Climate Change tells you region by region what to expect.

Watch out!  You’re next.

6 thoughts on “A Spoke in the Bicycle Wheel of Global Warming

  1. It’s pretty scary. I’m often glad for the relatively mild climate we have here but even we have more extremes now. And yet the governments and multinational corporations do nothing but worry about how much money they make – go figure…

    • Yes, changes must be made. I just read a brilliant article in the new New Yorker, “Power to the People” by Bill McKibben. A power company in Vermont, Green Mountain Power, encourages people to give their houses an energy makeover by financing the charges through their electric bills. One family’s use of electricity dropped 88 percent in a few days! So there’s hope for lowering the carbon footprint… And perhaps slowing climate change?

  2. Next? We are already here, right along with you, with coastal flooding in storms and lots of trees down in recent years. Yes, there have always been storms, but in recent years they are more violent and more often.

    • I was thinking “next” in the way this weather rolls around the country! Yes, the Northeast has also been hit hard! The NASA website gives us grim predictions of the future. But I did just read an article by Bill McKibben in the New Yorker about a power company in Vermont helping families get green power makeovers. One family reduced its electricity costs by 88% in a few days! financed through their electric bills. So if only Vermont has an influence…

  3. We have had horrendous flooding here in the UK over the past decade and areas that have been flood free for as long as living memory have been submerged two or three times. Having lived in three properties that flooded I am happy now living at the top of a hill, but there are still days when I can’t get out because all the downhill areas are under water. It seems to be a growing problem everywhere.

    • Oh, I know it is a worldwide problem! Very sad to hear about all the flooding. I did read somewhere that the UK could expect heavier downpours in winter (?) and more floods!

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