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October 1
1842 - Proof of discovery: New York Observer (newspaper) reports on gold in Placerita Canyon. [story]
New York Observer


Already crippled by years of megadrought, California may have another climate change-induced worry on the horizon: economy-busting megafloods.
| Monday, Aug 15, 2022
The Great Flood
K Street in Sacramento, Calif., inundated by the Great Flood of 1862. Over 120 inches of rain fell on California between November 1861 and January 1862. Image via Courthouse News.


By Madalyn Wright

(CN) — In drought-ridden California’s history, megafloods have occurred about every century. Not often, but from a geological standpoint they’re not rare. The most notable megaflood in recent history, the Great Flood of 1862, came after a 20-year drought. One of the costliest natural disasters to hit the disaster-prone state, the flood caused $100 million in damage, equal to $3.11 billion today.

The 1862 megaflood occurred not as the result of a single storm, but weeks of continuous rain and heavy snow in the Sierra. It culminated in a warm intense monster of a storm that melted all the snow that had fallen in the prior weeks. The resulting flood turned the Central Valley into an inland sea up to 30 feet deep and 4,000 people — 1% of the state’s population at the time — lost their lives.

And now, new research and weather modeling indicates climate change is changing the timeline for so-called 100-year events. Using the state’s geological and weather history, a previous weather model from 2011 and new climate data, researchers crafted a new model that accounts for climate change and discovered the risk of disastrous megafloods — the culmination of multiweek megastorm event — may have already doubled.

Daniel Swain, study author and climate scientist at the University of California Los Angeles Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, noted that the 2011 ARkStorm model didn’t factor in climate change’s effects on weather.

“One of the main goals in doing this was to exclusively account for climate change. The other was to leverage all these newer, more advanced tools that have come into existence and the broadening scientific knowledge surrounding these types of events and have come before in recent years,” Swain said in a Zoom interview.

Amid campaigns and infrastructure surrounding water conservation and drought remedies, the state isn’t ready to cope with intense rainfall and runoff. The megaflood events looming in the near future would cause trillions of dollars in damage — the costliest natural disaster on Earth to date — and a massive economic shutdown. Making up 14.6% of the nation’s economy in 2021 and with a $3.3 trillion GDP, California holds its own on the global stage, beating the United Kingdom, France and India, all of which clock GDPs around $2.65 trillion.

In other words, California’s megaflood will have global economic effects.

“It would wipe out agriculture, tourism, the movie industry, the tech industry — at least temporarily — for a multi-month, two-year period, all at once. Imagine even just economically what that would look like. That’s what the first ARkStorm scenario showed, and that’s not to mention the direct damages that would occur in people’s houses, public structures, infrastructure and the lives that would be lost,” Swain said in the interview.

This revolutionary model is phase one of three, looking at meteorology and what weather sequences lead to megaflooding events. The next phase will include assessing the damage in more detail and working closely with state departments to inform policy and prevent worst-case outcomes.

“That is the whole purpose of doing this — to improve societal resilience to extreme flood events, improve our preparedness, potentially retool our water and flood infrastructure in the long run in ways that accommodate not just increased risk of drought but also this increased risk of flood. And in some ways, those things can be complementary,” Swain said. “There are lots of practical reasons why it’s important, and this is something we’re going to do as we move beyond the first phase.”

Swain believes that one of the study’s most interesting and alarming findings is a nearly linear increase between global temperature rise and megaflood likelihood.

“It goes from something that probably wouldn’t happen for multiple generations — our children and our children’s children could go without ever seeing one to being something that more likely than not we are going to experience in our lifetimes and potentially more than once. That’s a huge shift,” Swain said.

He added: “What can we do? These events are always going to cause problems. I don’t think there’s any way to fully adapt our way out of it. But there are going to be things that we’re going to be able to implement that could tamp down some of the harms. Those are what we’re hoping to do in the next couple of project phases.”

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1 Comment

  1. AisA says:

    More climate change alarmist bull, hey have been making disaster claims since Inwas in 2 nd grade. Bring in the post apocalyptic world I’m ready for the string to survive so we can root out the weak!

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Hart District Teachers of the Year Honored by Board
Sixteen William S. Hart Union High School District 2022/23 Teachers of the Year were recognized by the Governing Board on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Friday COVID Roundup: Seven Day Average of County Case Counts Declines 8 Percent
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed six new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,682 new cases countywide and 100 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
I-5 Corridor Improvement Work Continues, SR-134  to Buena Vista Street
The HOV, High Occupancy Vehicle, or carpool, lanes are open on I-5 in both directions between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1842 - Proof of discovery: New York Observer (newspaper) reports on gold in Placerita Canyon. [story]
New York Observer
Sixteen William S. Hart Union High School District 2022/23 Teachers of the Year were recognized by the Governing Board on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed six new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,682 new cases countywide and 100 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Seven Day Average of County Case Counts Declines 8 Percent
The HOV, High Occupancy Vehicle, or carpool, lanes are open on I-5 in both directions between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.
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Two recent graduates of CalArts’ MFA Experimental Animation Program, Moon (Yuezhu) Wang and Dairys Escoto De León, have been selected for the 2022-23 Association for Independent Colleges of Art and Design Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowships.
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GSAC Opening Win Eludes TMU Men’s Soccer
Motoko Shimoji earned medalist honors for the third straight week and Carla Menendez placed runner-up to help lead the College of the Canyons Golf Team to a 15-stroke victory over Bakersfield College at the Western State Conference event hosted by Moorpark College at Los Robles Greens on Sept. 26.
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1955 - Actor James Dean, 24, drives through Castaic Junction en route to his final resting place [watch]
James Dean
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Message from County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly
College of the Canyons student-athletes Brianna Botello (women's volleyball) and Sam Regez (men's cross coutry) have been named the COC Athletic Department's Women's & Men's Student-Athletes of the Week for the period running Sept. 19-24.
COC Names Botello, Regez Athletes of the Week
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Are you hiring? Looking for a new career? The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Center has partnered with College of the Canyons, the city of Santa Clarita and America's Job Centers of California to host a valley-wide job fair at the Canyon Country Community Center Thursday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
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1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
COC
 State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a virtual webinar on Sept. 28 to update local educational agencies, including district and charter school administrators and classroom educators, on over $3.6 billion in block grants and other resources to promote financial education in California high schools.
Superintendent Thurmond Leads Webinar Announcing State Funds for Financial Literacy
SCVNews.com
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