As if birds and fish dying off by the thousands wasn’t enough to scare the bejeezus out of us, a group of more than 100 scientists and experts have issued a new report guaranteed to get people worked up into a 2012-like frenzy.
According to this new report, experts say that the state of California is at risk of being hit by a massive “superstorm” that could potentially flood a quarter of the state’s homes and cause upwards of $400 billion in damage. Great.
Researchers say that the scale of destruction from this storm could be up to five times the amount of damage that is brought on by a major earthquake.
Yes, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are currently in the process of alerting federal and state emergency officials that these types of “superstorms” have hit California before.
Marcia McNutt, USGS Director, says that a 300-mile stretch of California’s Central Valley was flooded from 1861-62. The flood waters were so bad, the state capital was moved to San Francisco, and Governor Leland Stanford was forced to take a rowboat to his own inauguration.
Geological evidence also reveals that even bigger storms have hit in 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418, and 1605.
A “superstorm” such as the one USGS officials are describing could last for up to 40 days and dump more than 10 feet of water on the state. Interestingly enough, the storm is being referred to in the official report an ARkStorm, which they say stands for “Atmospheric River 1,000″ as opposed to anything of a biblical nature.
The risk is increasing now because of rising global temperatures, which has sparked “superstorm” activity in the past.
Still, some think that the media is exaggerating the possibility of such a storm hitting any time in the near future.
“The titles are premature and irresponsible”, says TheWeatherSpace.com meteorologist Kevin Martin. “Any outlet that deems scares the living daylights out of the public with false titles should lose credibility. The fact is, it is a scenario, not an actual storm coming as we speak.”
- “ARkStorm: California’s other “Big One”" and related posts (usgs.gov)
- Report projects impact of huge Calif. storm (abclocal.go.com)
- If quakes weren’t enough, enter the ‘Superstorm.’ (nytimes.com)
- Hey California: Get Ready for ‘Superstorms’ [Science] (gawker.com)