Water Water Everywhere

In the recent past, there were floods recorded in Sri Lanka, Canada, China, Australia, Russia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Afghanistan, India, Uganda, Somalia, Iran, France, Spain, and the USA.

Of these, the ones in Turkey, Afghanistan, and the USA lasted up to two weeks or more. 72 people were reported dead in Afghanistan.

In our backyard, we are preparing for Florence.

This year alone, there were 75 small to large floods across the planet.

Do we know how many floods occurred last year?

The year before that, and the year before that?

Do we know how many of them lasted how long?

Perhaps our daily chores forbid us from following these events.

But for Nasser Najibi, this is a daily chore.

Mr. Najibi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering at the City College of New York, CUNY.

Like we religiously watch the Daily Show or South Park, Mr. Najibi watches the floods; at least has been for the past few years. Heck, 90% of his tweets/retweets are on floods!

A year ago, he looked at this video on the Dartmouth Flood Observatory and wondered if he could understand the frequency and duration of these events and how they are changing.

A year later, he has an article published in Earth System Dynamics that comprehensively documents these changes.

We found that the flood frequency and the tails of the flood duration (long duration) have increased at both the global and the latitudinal scales, but much of this change can be placed within the long-term climate variability context.

Please read the paper and let us know what you think. It will probably only take you a Daily Show’s time.

You can get the paper from Earth System Dynamics website here. It is open access. If you need a copy of it, please write to Nasser or me. We will be happy to share.

The processed data can be downloaded from Harvard Dataverse. Feel free to download and investigate more trends and patterns.