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View Diary: Drought and Low Water: The Mississippi May Be Unnavigable Within Weeks (191 comments)

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  •  Actually, it does make sense (4+ / 0-)

    The commenter's point is simply that the same rain that would cause no flood at all in a normally wet year can cause extensive flooding if it follows an extended period of drought.

    This is because the dried-out ground is less capable of absorbing water quickly than it would be if it held a normal amount of moisture. It's the same effect you get if you put a completely dry bath sponge (the old-fashioned hard kind) in a bowl of water. It can take a minute or two for the sponge to become completely saturated with water, but if you then wring it out and put it back in the bowl, it will absorb the same amount of water in a couple of seconds. Dry soil works in pretty much the same way.

    So, less absorption into the soil means more runoff, which means larger flows in rivers and streams. And there's your flood.

    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Drobin on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:38:09 AM PST

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    •  it's a non-sequitur (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      We are not in a situation where heavy rain followed drought. We are in the opposite situation.

      Last year the Mississippi had record high flow. This year it's record low flow.

      From one extreme to the other in 18 months. We are certainly visiting the extremes these days, yes?

      Of course I understand the point, but it's not relevant, and I wonder why the poster felt compelled to add it.

      People do that kind of thing when they want to change the subject.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:44:54 AM PST

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      •  He was making a general comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billlaurelMD, Aquarius40

        which may or may not have been applicable to the flood last year (someone better versed in hydrology would have to comment on that point).

        The point is that rather counterintuitively, frequent flooding is a feature of a drier climate. Since climate change deniers are likely to point to floods as evidence that the climate is not actually getting drier, I think it is important to point out that there is no contradication there.

        "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

        by Drobin on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:57:19 AM PST

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        •  drought and flood can both happen (0+ / 0-)

          Not sure who is expecting less flooding in the warming climate - that has a strawmannish feel.

          We get more heavy rain now. Naturally we get more flooding.

          Also, with warmer air and more blocking patterns, we can get more drought.

          The two extremes can co-exist w/o casting doubt on global warming.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:24:29 AM PST

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