Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Why Kauai’s heavy flooding?
Climate change? YES. The flooding that occurred on Kaui, is the worst natural disaster to happen in 25 years since hurricane Iniki. Today has been reported that 500 homes were damaged, and many more buildings too. How can a “simple rain” can turn so bad? Here are some facts. The climate crisis is impacting weather patterns and the water cycle in many ways. The water vapor that feeds the precipitation comes from two main sources:
1. About 60% of the rain and snow that falls over land comes from moisture originating from the oceans.
2. The other 40% is “recycled” over the continents.
As the atmosphere gets warmer, it can hold more moisture. The rate of evaporation from the ocean is increasing as the world warms, and warmer air can hold more water vapor. For each degree of warming, the air’s capacity for water vapor goes up about 7%. An atmosphere with more moisture can produce more intense precipitations. The intensity of downpours (and therefore the risk of floods) depends in part on how much water the air can hold at a given time.
All resulting in tremendous damage, like the one in our dear neighbor island. Want to help? While Kauai recovers there are plenty of touristic attractions to visit, so go over and enjoy while you support their local economy.
Photo by: Unsplash.com