Speaking of “Biblical” flooding in Colorado…

Chris Mooney is now reporting on climate for Grist, which is great news in and of itself. His latest post looks at the huge and deadly floods of this past week in Colorado, and tries to answer the obvious question — did climate change contribute to or worsen these floods?

The answer is not a simple yes, the experts say,  but correlative and suggestive, as a central graph he posts shows: 

Noaa-extremes_0
But a good writer such as Money also has an ear for language, and he notes a couple of interesting points in commentary this week. A forecaster for the National Weather Service pointed to "major flash flooding" with "Biblical rainfall events." Words perhaps chosen to make the point to the deeply religious area of Colorado Springs?

And Mooney notes that evenmeterologists and small government advocates and Republicans such as Paul Douglas are seeing a new atmosphere overhead — an atmosphere created by climate change. 

In his exploration of causes, Mooney makes the usual points — more warming means more water vapor in the atmosphere, means more potential for heavy rains — but stops short, as the phrase du jour goes, of pointing the finger or affixing blame. This is the responsbile, scientific choice. 

But free spirits — artists such as Tom Toles earlier this week — aren't as constrained. ColoradofloodingToles

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