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U.S. Geological Survey Fails to Find Link Between Amount of CO2 in the Atmosphere and Size of Floods, Except for Southwest (October 24, 2011)

posted Oct 28, 2011, 2:03 PM by James Hodina
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report analyzing whether flood sizes have changed in the U.S. as carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere increased. The USGS researchers found that only one in four regions in the U.S. showed a significant relationship between CO2 levels and flood sizes – the Southwest, where floods have become smaller as CO2 levels increased. The report notes, however, that a number of other variables influence flood sizes, including shifts in the intensity and tracks of various types of storms and changes in the type of precipitation; conditions on the landscape when large storms arrive (for example, smaller snowpacks, less soil moisture and less frozen soil); and human activities, including urbanization, building of dams and levees, and shifts in vegetation types and drainage of soils and wetlands. Thus, this report does not conclude that no strong relationship between flood sizes and CO2 might be detected in the future. [For further information:]