Philippines is now suffering tremendous flooding most likely related to climate change — nice Christmas present, eh?
The only way global warming deniers (or, “science deniers,” as I think I’m going to start calling them) can claim that the effects of global warming aren’t already hitting us is if they can prove that climate scientists are somehow coordinating to influence our weather and cause an unprecedented number of extreme ‘natural’ disasters.
The latest extreme weather event, quite disastrously and very sadly, has killed over 1,000 people in the Philippines.
“Tropical storm Washi, known locally in the Philippines as Sendong, has killed over 1000 people in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, dumping over a foot of water onto mountains denuded by deforestation, sweeping away entire villages and flooding the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan with devastating mudslides,” Think Progress notes.
“The latest tally showed a total of 1,002 people have been confirmed dead, including 650 in Cagayan de Oro and an additional 283 in nearby Iligan city, said Benito Ramos, head of the Civil Defense Office.” It has been determined the deadliest extreme weather event of 2011.
Aside from the over 1,000, approximately 33,000 will have to spend Christmas in shelters this year.
Here’s a video on the floods from last weekend:
Warnings for Years Deemed “Too Alarmist”
Yep, that’s the word science deniers use to describe the scientists who have been warning us about such disasters — alarmist (or alarmists). The sad thing is, they are sounding the alarm, but we aren’t listening.
“The tragedy that struck the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan was an event waiting to happen. It was foretold three years ago, but was dismissed by lawmakers as ‘too alarmist,'” The Inquirer reports.
“Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF), said Monday the events in Northern Mindanao over the weekend mirrored the prediction. ‘It was an exact fit,’ Tan said.
“Environmentalists said a simulation of the effects of extreme weather events from climate change such as saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and intense tropical cyclones, showed that major Philippine cities, including Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, were at risk of massive flooding.
“The simulation of the effects of extreme weather phenomena was drafted in 2009 by the Philippine Imperative for Climate Change (PICC), WWF and Filipino scientists.”
“They said I was being too alarmist,” Nereus Acosta, who headed the PICC, said.
A government representatives said the people and the government did not expect this. And every indication is they didn’t.
“The people did not expect this and the government also did not expect this, that we will have 181 millimeters of rain. This is not in the path of typhoons,” NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos said this Sunday.
Too bad they weren’t listening to the alarmists! (Too bad many politicians aren’t listening to alarmists — we will, unfortunately, pay the price of dismissing scientists’ warnings. Note that the U.S. has seen record wet/dry extremes in 2011 and Texas experienced the worst drought on U.S. record.) As Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman notes, “The climate change warning sirens are going off, but many people aren’t taking them seriously.”
Global Warming a Cause?
More likely than not, global warming contributed to this disastrous event. “Aiding the heavy rains were sea surface temperatures that were nearly 1°C above average off the east coast of Mindanao, one of the top five warmest values on record. The exceptionally warm waters added about 7 percent more moisture than is usual for this time of year to the atmosphere,” Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters writes.
Additionally, as noted above, this is exactly what climate scientists and other scientists have been predicting for years. The inevitable (without stronger climate change action) is becoming a reality.
Washi Headed for Flood-Stricken Thailand
Philippine Flood Map via NASA