UPDATED: (new graphic) Climate Blamed for Worst Paris Floods since 1910

Paris_spin

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Paris, France recently suffered severe flooding. Naturally Climate Scientists have blamed the May 2016 Paris floods on Climate, though it was admitted the floods fell well short of the Great Flood of 1910.

Flooding began first on smaller rivers including the Yvette and Loing — south of Paris (Figure 1). The Loing River, a tributary of the Seine, rose to levels not seen since 1982 but still short of the catastrophic January 1910 Paris floods when the Seine reached 8.0 meters (26.2 feet). The Seine – which runs directly through the heart of Paris – peaked at 6.1 meters (20 feet ) above its normal height during the night of June 3rd — a 34-year high. Farther south, in the heart of the Loire basin, tributaries of the Loire River, including the Retreve and the Sauldre Rivers, reached 50-year highs between May 31st and June 1st, flooding highways and the historic 16th-century Chambord castle. The timing of this flood was quite unusual as virtually all previous floods along the Seine and Loire River basins have occurred during winter (as opposed to spring) due to buildup of excess water over several months during the winter. Only two instances in the historical record — July 1659 and June 1856 — show flooding in months other than December, January, February or March. Clearly, this event appears to be a combination of a very wet month of May in general, coupled with very high 3-day rainfall totals in particular. Managing resulting flood risk is particularly challenging at this time of year because many reservoirs are already close to full to prepare for a typically dry summer season.

This year’s May rainfall amounts were exceptional at some stations in France (see Figure 2). The Paris-Montsouris station, recording 179 mm (7 inches), received roughly 3 months worth of rain in one month. The previous record of 133 mm (5.2 inches) was set in 1992. Orleans saw 181 mm (7.1 inches), also about 3 months of precipitation in one month. The old record was 148 mm (5.8 inches) set back in 1985.

Read more: https://wwa.climatecentral.org/analyses/european-rainstorms-may-2016/

What is the history of flooding in Paris? Information on floods is a little difficult to find, perhaps because I don’t speak French, but the following from a critical OECD report on Parisian flood risk preparedness is revealing;

While the possibility of a major flood of the Seine River may initially seem remote, it comes back regularly and arouses public attention as was the case during the spring of 2013 when floods took place upstream of the Seine River basin. Even though the flooding did not cause any major damage, it reopened the question of risk management and the region’s vulnerability to flooding. The prospect of a historic event is a key concern for French risk management stakeholders. The 1910 flood was particularly destructive in the context of an era marked by industrial and technological progress. Such events illustrate the difficulties societies have in compromising between economic development and the management of increased vulnerability of society and multiple economic sectors.

1924 and 1955 also saw major flood events in the Paris region and in the entire Seine basin. Nevertheless, the lack of a significant flood for more than 60 years tends to lessen the memory of risk. Seine floods are characterised by their slow progression and, following on a period of submersion which may be very long. For instance, the waters took almost two months to subside in 1910. Even if the effect of climate change on the frequency and extent of the Seine floods is still uncertain, greater floods than the one of 1910 are still possible, such as the one that occurred in 1658. In other countries, many recent floods significantly exceeded the 100-year levels. This was the case with the floods in Queensland, Bangkok, and Pakistan; as well as during the coastal flooding following hurricane Sandy in New-York, and the 2013 floods in Germany. The EU Floods Directive uses the 1000-year frequency as a reference for extreme events.

Read more: https://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/Flood-risk-management-seine-river-executive-summary.pdf

On the basis of the OECD report, the claim that the 2016 flood was climate related seems a little thin. Not only was the 2016 flood significantly less severe than a comparable flood which occurred in 1910, the 2016 flood occurred after a 60 year absence of major Paris floods, after major floods in 1910, 1924 and 1955.

There does not appear to be any evidence which supports the theory that climate is somehow exacerbating the frequency or severity of flooding in Paris.


UPDATE: They say a picture says a thousand words, this one not only does that, but speaks with authority. Thanks to Josh for the image, originally sourced from the BBC here. – Anthony

paris-flood-gauge-statue

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186 thoughts on “UPDATED: (new graphic) Climate Blamed for Worst Paris Floods since 1910

      • The graph clearly proves that climate change has been reducing extreme rainfall in Paris.
        There can be no doubt that within mere decades Paris will become a barren desert devoid of life.
        [note – you aren’t David Suzuki, suggest you choose another screen name -mod]

    • Well if flooding is caused by weather, you could have a valid reason for not predicting it to happen and cause flooding.
      BUT ! if in fact it is NOT weather, but CLIMATE that caused the flooding, then YOU are at fault, because you have had 30 years to get ready for CLIMATE flooding, and you did nothing to prepare to handle all that deluge.
      So blame it on the frog authorities.
      G

  1. In your precedented/unprecedented analysis, don’t forget the very significant work to create buffer zone upstream to avoid 1910 events.
    Saying level of the Seine is not unprecedented doesn’t prove anything. (I am not claiming that the amount of rain is unprecedented.)
    But the correct metric for “climate” is rain over the bassin, not Seine level.

    • From the OECD report;
      Since 1910, the risk of a Seine River flood in the Ile-de-France region has been reduced in various stages by protective structures, including dams built upstream and river development starting in the 1920s, then in the 1950s up until the early 1990s.Major investments have been limited in the last decades, and it appears that protection levels are not up to the standards of many other comparable OECD countries, particularly in Europe.
      River dredging has been discouraged for over a decade by EU directives. Poor river management and lack of funding suggest any protective measures were probably in a bad state of repair.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/28/british-officials-blame-climate-change-for-floods/

      • “River dredging has been discouraged for over a decade by EU directives.”

        Daniel Amblevert, maire de Sainte-Florence, dans le Libournais, avait fait curer un fossé en octobre 2011 sans avoir demandé l’autorisation afin d’éviter une inondation. Poursuivi par l’Office national de l’eau et des milieux aquatiques(Onema), il avait été relaxé par le tribunal correctionnel de Libourne dans un premier temps puis finalement condamné par la cour d’appel de Bordeaux en février 2015.

        http://www.sudouest.fr/2016/06/06/sainte-florence-33-le-maire-avait-fait-curer-un-fosse-sans-autorisation-sa-peine-confirmee-en-cassation-2390145-2966.php
        With the help of Google Translate:

        Daniel Amblevert, Mayor of Sainte-Florence, in the Libourne, decided to scrape clean a ditch in October 2011 without requesting permission to avoid flooding. Tried by the National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (Onema), he was acquitted by the Criminal court of Libourne initially and eventually sentenced by the court of appeal of Bordeaux in February 2015.

        The cour de cassation confirmed his condamnation, so now it’s final:
        – fine of 1,500 €
        – compensation of 5,000 € to “Sepanso” (fédération des sociétés pour l’étude, la protection et l’aménagement de la nature dans le Sud-Ouest)
        I haven’t looked up the fine details.

      • [ mod, makes me smile – conspyracy.but what ya think is a RICO act deaeling with. Regards – Hans ]

      • “who knows if EU responsibles are criminals or just plain soziopaths.”
        No reason it can’t be both, Johann.

      • My first thought was has the French version of our EA (environment agency) followed the rules of the EU or have they done what the French often do which is do their own thing whilst saying we’re following the rules.
        So like the Somerset Levels in the UK the people of Paris suffer for the sake of saving the world.
        James Bull

        • “My first thought was has the French version of our EA (environment agency) followed the rules of the EU”
          When it comes to ecoloonacies, France authorities don’t just follow the Europe rules, they make up additional costly rules, to kill our agriculture and industry. It’s like a suicide pact between the ecoloonatic Keynesian and closet socialist “right” (“Les Républicains”), the officially socialist party and the green party (“EELV” = “Europe Écologie – Les Verts”).
          “or have they done what the French often do which is do their own thing whilst saying we’re following the rules”
          Only for
          – the free market access rules:
          – the State helps our almost financially broke national railway company
          – the freedom of choice of the social security insurance (health, etc.) except family benefits, which is the rule in Europe, except where a “legal” regime exists (like the NHS); the French State serving medias (we called these “merdias”) are on full propaganda mode regarding the legality of quitting the (broke) “social security”; even the European Commission is helping with this propaganda;
          – the GMO access rules, allowed herbicides, etc.
          France was very advanced in term of GMO seed research. Now there is nothing, the “faucheurs volontaires” can destroy not GMO tests but also any herbicide resistant tests, these thugs are backed-up by members of the government.
          Unlike Russia, no French journalists have been killed recently. (Possibly because no French journalist has annoyed the Power.)
          Even the “conservative” medias are only opposed to the “gender” and “mariage for everybody”, not to anti-economy measures. There is no Republican party in France, no Conservative party, no UKIP for France party.

    • The OP is not trying to “prove” anything, the OP states that there is no evidence that this is related to CO2 attribution.
      “Climate change” “unprecedented” rains would not be localised to Paris, it’s a junk claim.
      The only thing proven here is there is no proof of anything, let alone “Climate change”.
      Again, this is weather not climate, but the alarmists love weather now, seeing as “climate” is not doing what they claims it would do.

      • ““Climate change” “unprecedented” rains would not be localised to Paris, it’s a junk claim.”
        What? Who said anything about rain just over Paris?
        The issue is the amount of rain upstream, not over Paris.

    • The problem in france has a bloody great volcano field in the middle of the country. It feeds the vast majority of the rivers in france including the 5 that flow into the town in which I live. We flooded 20 yrs ago. Many weirs have been built to slow the flow by widening the river to downward flow. It still overflows every year. This is what happened to rivers flowing into paris. Only a simpleton would believe that this current flood had anything to do with global warming. Anyone who lives here will tell the same story. Its cyclical ! T’es Fou que tu penserais autrement.
      We have had devasting frosts, massive hailstones, hurricane force winds, 7 metre tidal floods, devastated forests and frozen rivers all spread over the past 100 yrs. Some as recent as last 5yrs some as long ago as 1956, 1963 and, of course, 1910.

    • Not just rain in the immediate period of the flooding. Serious floods often occur with a precondition of saturated ground conditions. If Paris is on a plain this will always be a risk and also can be aggravated by heavy clay soils which allow rapid surface run off.
      Sometimes (often?), reservoir management aggravates these situations.

    • simple-touriste
      June 11, 2016 at 1:54 am
      I got that wrong. !!! Sorry. I thought bordeaux had let him off.

  2. http://www.ouest-france.fr/meteo/inondation/pourquoi-la-crue-de-la-seine-t-elle-ete-sous-estimee-4275496

    Pourquoi la crue de la Seine a d’abord été sous-estimée ?
    C’est parce que l’unique station de mesure de la Seine à Paris est devenue aveugle…
    Pourquoi la crue de la Seine a-t-elle été sous-estimée pendant des heures ? La faute à deux petits capteurs, les seuls à mesurer la Seine à Paris, que des déchets ont probablement aveuglés et, avec eux, les pouvoirs publics.
    Jeudi soir, l’unique station de mesure de la Seine à Paris, installée au pont d’Austerlitz, a commencé à cafouiller, en sous-évaluant le niveau de la crue d’une trentaine de centimètres.
    Ses deux capteurs ont toute la nuit envoyé leurs relevés automatiques trompeurs.
    Le ministère de l’Environnement est donc resté jusqu’à vendredi midi sur une prévision de pic de 5,30 à 5,90 mètres. L’erreur ne sera détectée que vendredi matin, et l’estimation de pic relevée à 6,30 m – 6,50 m à la mi-journée par le ministère.
    “Ça paraissait bizarre”
    Car c’est dans la matinée de vendredi que les analystes se sont rendu compte de l’écart avec les mesures en amont et en aval de la capitale : “Ça paraissait bizarre”, a raconté Jérôme Goellner, directeur de la Direction régionale de l’Environnement.
    “Nous sommes passés jeudi soir, tout fonctionnait. C’est vendredi matin qu’on a vu l’écart”, explique Bruno Janet, chef du pôle de modélisation de Vigicrues. “Nous n’avons qu’une seule station à Paris car des mesures dans un autre endroit de la Seine ne présenterait pas de gros écart.”
    Aussitôt, un opérateur manuel a pris le relais. Depuis vendredi matin c’est lui qui, jour et nuit, l’oeil rivé sur une échelle, surveille le niveau de l’eau, centimètre par centimètre, même si c’est “un peu moins fiable” que les boîtiers.

    With the help of Google Translate and (very few) corrections: (did Google change something recently?)

    Why the flood of the Seine was initially underestimated?
    This is because the single measuring station of the Seine in Paris became blind …
    Why did the flood of the Seine been underestimated for hours? Blame it on two small sensors, the only measure the Seine in Paris, that waste has probably blinded and with them, the authorities.
    Thursday night, the one measuring station of the Seine in Paris, installed at the bridge of Austerlitz, began to misfire, by undervaluing the flood levels of about thirty centimeters.
    His two sensors have all night sent their misleading automatic statements.
    The Ministry of Environment is stayed until Friday lunchtime on a forecast peak of 5.30 to 5.90 meters. The error will be detected as Friday morning, and the estimated peak increased to 6.30 m – 6.50 m at mid-day by the ministry.
    “It seemed weird”
    For it is in the Friday morning as analysts realized the gap with measurements upstream and downstream of the capital: “It seemed weird,” he told Jérôme Goellner, director the “Direction régionale de l’Environnement” (regional environment something).
    “We went Thursday night, everything worked. It’s Friday morning we saw the gap,” explains Bruno Janet, head of Vigicrues modeling division. “We only have one station in Paris since measures in another place of the Seine would not present a big difference. ”
    Immediately, a manual operator took over. Since Friday morning it was he who, day and night, the eye on a scale monitors the water level, centimeter by centimeter, even if it is “somewhat unreliable” as recessed.

    • That last sentence should be translated :
      … it was he who … monitors the water level … even if it’s “a bit less reliable” than the boxes. [ automated electronic level sensors ]
      Strange how, having found that the automatic system was totally unreliable and seems to have become blocked, they were replaced with a human observer who was “less reliable”.
      Clearly the human observer was MORE reliable , that’s why he was there !
      Next time they have flood conditions upstream, I imagine they will also dispatch a human observer to provide data ” a bit more reliable” than an automated electronic box.

    • “We only have one station in Paris since measures in another place of the Seine would not present a big difference. ”
      Maybe they will now discover the importance of redundancy in monitoring critical parameters like flooding of the nation’s capital

      • “Maybe they will now discover the importance of redundancy”
        Just maybe… they have an excuse: they didn’t know that the river could carry filth capable of blocking the measurement devices…

    • Nothing you have found here, badly translated, explain the reason for the flood only the reason for not seeing it earlier. The same thing happened in dec 99 when a secondary depression arrived at finistere without being seen. Another perturbation a week later was seen and came in over Bordeaux raising sea level some 7 metres above average and destroying electricity pylons across central france. We have sensors at risky points along all rivers but minor floods, which occur frequently, can drag large trees and heavy objects down river damaging or moving sensors as they pass.

      • “Nothing you have found here, badly translated, explain the reason for the flood only the reason for not seeing it earlier.”
        Indeed, it’s just one of the cause of the lack of preparation we have seen in Paris, will the Louvre moving its collection in panic mode. (The medias are extremely quiet about that.)
        And I am sorry for the poor translation.

  3. Possibly less to do with rainfall volume, and more likely a direct function of the city’s expansion upstream along both the Seine and its tributary Marne.

    • Much of the flooding in the Mississippi basin is exacerbated (if not caused) by over development in floodplains and over engineering of the river at various points. I read an analysis recently that stated that the Mississippi is now more of a managed waterway than a natural river, and that it is almost unrecognizable as the river surveyed in the 1830s by Robert E. Lee.
      I suspect these facts are true for many river systems in developed countries. Some engineering may be needed to counteract things like silting, and we cannot ignore the importance of river transport and usage. However, if we REALLY want to minimize flood damage and danger, the best thing to do is NOT BUILD IN A FLOODPLAIN.

  4. So it’s a city that sees large flooding every so often, and still can’t manage it. That’s the only lesson to be learned here, bit like the UK floods, no action taken since last floods

    • Except governments can now easily spin any such weather events as climate change thus deferring
      at least some of the responsibility for their lack of investment.

      • Indeed. Thus we now have public resources going towards climate-modelling ejits projecting doom, instead of going towards engineers who were already trying to fix known problems before they occurred again.

  5. … rose to levels not seen since 1982 but still short of the catastrophic January 1910 Paris floods

    That means that the flooding was the worst since 1982 !
    Who is Eric Worrel’s title supposed to be referring to making the false claim that it was the worst “since 1910” ?
    I have not seen anyone claiming worst since 1910, not even the alarmist Guardian. So what is this about.
    Make exaggerated claims about claims being exaggerated and then prove them wrong ? WUWT?

  6. There does not appear to be any evidence which supports the theory that climate is somehow exacerbating the frequency or severity of flooding in Paris.

    So who , if anyone , was actually making such a claim. Why debunk the idea unless some alarmist is making it?

    • “So who , if anyone , was actually making such a claim.”
      Do I really need to post quotes? I have got plenty, but they are in French, and I am not willing to make any effort to translate 100% guaranteed fact free quotes. No way!

  7. We have had some places here with over 100 mm rain in one day. Even the best defences are not capable to keep such floods in place. Thus lots of places under water.
    Lucky for us the Belgian KMI (Royal Meteorological Institute) with Luc Debontridder officially declared that the extreme rainfall had nothing to do with climate change, but the result of being sandwiched between two high pressure fields which made that rainclouds were stalled over our country and didn’t move away. Exceptional, but not uncommon…
    Have met Luc Debontridder some months ago during a discussion between skeptics and “luke-warmers”, where he was quite realistic for a “warmer”, as most in the KMI are (but normally not too openly as in this case…).

    • 100 mm is about 3.93 inches. A tropical cyclone can dump more rain than that in under 12 hours. For example, in 1999 I lived through Hurricane Floyd. Where I lived, it rained 15.5 inches, or slightly under 400 mm, overnight. I talked to several people who woke up the next morning and they had water rushing into their homes, and only had time to get out. Of course, that water goes downstream and collects with other streams. People downstream had warning, but the flooding was higher. (Interestingly, 1998 was a strong El Nino year and 1999 was a La Nina year, just like 2015 was a strong El Nino year and it looks like 2016 will be a La Nina year.)
      People need to realize that extreme events have happened many times and will continue to happen many times. There is nothing unusual about it. Alarmists are all too happy to call every extreme CAGW. It exploits a common human trait: our memory of the past is incomplete and we tend to remember it as better than it really was. Alarmist won’t remind you about the past because the past disproves them.

      • I live in the middle of the Canadian prairie, semi arid for the most part. I have seen several spring floods caused by heavy winter snow accumulation and rapid melting with saturated soil. Additionally, we get some wet springs with rain and little sunshine and warmth. Once we’re through that, summer brings daytime heating and intense storm systems. 13″, 9″, of rain over 24 hrs. or 6″ overnight with associated flooding in a fairly “dry” part of the world. Even deserts get heavy rain sometimes. Is there anywhere on earth other than polar regions that don’t?
        Dams are usually built for water storage, not flood control. Real flood control requires that the upstream reservoirs be built close to what they protect and kept fairly empty. Even then, regional and even fairly local weather systems, sometimes following one on another, can provide an amount of rain that even substantial reservoirs can’t handle.

      • alex,
        Fortunately we don’t live in a (tropical) cyclone area, so that amount of rain is quite seldom here, be it not uncommon. Several decades ago there was a “train” of clouds in a narrow strip of maybe 50 km wide that rained out all day, dumping over 130 mm rain where I live and beyond.
        We had no trouble, but there was a small brook one km from us which widened from a few meters to over 300 meters wide… In one of the houses there the water did enter through the front door and left via the back door, the remains only good for the slope…
        The problem is how to manage that: an event of once in 10 years, once in 100, once in a 1,000 years? Unadequate urbanisation (even in floodplains) made it worse to get it managed…

  8. Meanwhile the French are far more preoccupied with massive unemployment, endless strikes (trains, airlines, refuge collectors), political scandal after scandal. By comparison the brief floods were a mere distraction. The European soccer tournament may distract for a while but bitter reality won’t go away.

    • Lately the issue for (some) unlucky Parisians has been:
      – how do we get rid of the garbage?
      – how do we get rid of the rats?

      • Hope the floods are high and fast enough to get all the politicians?
        Or were you referring to the four footed variety of rodent ?

      • Lately the issue for (some) unlucky Parisians has been:
        – how do we get rid of the garbage?
        – how do we get rid of the rats?

        Follow Les anglais.
        FREXIT!!!

      • Leo Smith
        June 11, 2016 at 3:33 am
        We had an EU referendum. Voted NO; President said vous êtes les fous je vote OUI. Je gagne car je suis le president.

      • The greatest issues are the strikes of train drivers and the protesters blocking the road (as usual).
        In Paris, the RER C line is now dry and reopened, but there is still the strike issue.
        The strikes in refineries and people blocking the fuel reserves have been an issue.
        The strikes in the nuclear plants really weren’t a thing.

      • Sometimes I think that we ought to rewrite the rules of the road to say that while actual moving pedestrians have the right of way (in crosswalks, etc.), protestors clogging the road are fair game. Then my sense of morality rears its head.
        Seriously, I am sick of hearing about inconsiderate jerks making scenes in roadways and inconveniencing/endangering innocent people. I recently saw a small march on Constitution Avenue (in D.C.) midday on a Friday, but they were mostly walking in the parking lane or on the sidewalk, and seemed to be getting out of the way of cars. I wanted to get out of my car and applaud.

      • (repost, edited)
        The “nuit debout” (standing night) is an Indignados/Occupy movement in Place de la République in Paris. They claim to write a new Constitution with popular votes. They officially don’t encourage destruction but they made a “citizen garden” by removing the pavement. And many of them applaud destructions.
        When a French author/philosopher/academician Alain Finkielkraut went to “nuit debout” to see by himself what was going on (not trying to intervene in any way), he was ignored at first (probably because nobody noticed him or recognize him) but after some time things got ugly for a inclusive, tolerant movement: he was insulted, and a misdirected spit arrived on a cameraman. Alain Finkielkraut was then “escorted” by the security service of “nuit debout”.
        But it’s fine because Alain Finkielkraut is very backward and loves the past! See, he believes there is a lot of crap on the Internet (like, hum, anyone who has ever used the Internet and seen that crap), he says that the Internet can only be useful to people once they have mastered fundamental knowledge and have some culture, and he says teaching should be “traditional” and not use computers in “école primaire” when children learn how to read, write, basic operations (which is strangely close to what the über-progressist, futurist, Internet-praising Californian 21th Century technology entrepreneurs want for their children).
        Anyway Alain Finkielkraut criticizes the Internet (he probably didn’t make the most valuable critic of the content accessible via Internet), he doesn’t praise Internet connected schools, he doesn’t applaud when a financially broke Département offers every school children an iPad or some laptop (many of these are sold as many children are already equipped)… he is sooooo old school! So he must be an oppressor or something. He is backing up the international finance, the banks, etc. … well, probably. He can be expelled!
        The way Alain Finkielkraut was expelled (with obvious threats of violence) did create a small “emotion” in the fine circles of the “commentateurs autorisés” and the leftist intelligentsia. Many tried to minimize the significance of the event as he wasn’t actually molested. (As if you need to go to the hospital to have a reason to complain about thugs.) But the fact that “nuit debout” has in effect privatized the Place de la République doesn’t seem to bother anyone on the left.
        (Note: to be clear, I don’t believe Alain Finkielkraut is a great philosopher; his analysis is too often ridiculously superficial and he too often talk about on things he doesn’t quite understand. The Internet being one of these things.)
        As usual, the way people on the side of “nuit debout” were willing to blame the victim, with a childish (and inconsistent) binary worldview, is embarrassing.

      • Recently, we have had “les gens du voyages” (non sedentary people) blocking a highway because Justice wouldn’t allow one who was in prison to attend the burial of one who was killed when a run away after committing a crime.
        Guess what?
        Justice finally allowed him to attend the burial.
        And this isn’t a single event. People are afraid it will become a pattern.

      • simple-touriste June 11, 2016 at 8:51 pm
        [snip way off topic, politics, not related to flooding-mod]
        Yet you allow “AllyKat June 11, 2016 at 8:58 am” to stay, which isn’t at all flooding related.
        Make an effort, try to be consistent.

  9. Flooding in Hanoi a few weeks ago. Blamed fair & square on poor drainage in the city. Not a peep about climate change in the local (English language) media.

  10. climatecentral:
    The extreme nature of this event left many asking whether climate change may have played a role.
    THE EVENT –
    conducted independent assessments using multiple peer-reviewed approaches. These approaches involve statistical analyses of the historical temperature record, the trend in a global climate models, regional climate models, and the results of thousands of simulations of possible weather with a regional climate model. Applying multiple methods provides scientists with a means to assess confidence in the results.
    _______________________
    the event shows strong correlation heavy weather / excessive computer modeling.
    Bad for people in the real world, a goldrush for virtual climatology.

    • I too have done some computer modelling .
      It shows with irrefutable proof, that the more money spent on climate modelling, the more climate change gets blamed for bad weather.
      I therefore suggest as an urgent method of stopping bad weather, we de-fund all climate modelling.

      • I did as study too. IT showed that drawn cricket matches were a major cause of rain, so test matches will now go on for seven days instead to make sure the summer is sunny.

      • I’ll go one step further. When I was a kid, we used to have five minutes of weather each day, usually wedged between the news and the sports.Now,, we have like 24 hours of weather a day.
        I blame climate change.
        If current trends continue, in a few decades we will have 96 hours of weather per day, and it will be a disaster. Can you imagine? We will have tornadoes and blizzards on the same day.
        That’s what my computer models suggest anyway.
        As every major climate scientist has said, “I know we can’t blame any particular weather event on one storm, but, come on {eyeroll} look at the size of that flood.”

  11. Will the outcome be :
    – better preparence in the real world against natures tendency to flood events in the ‘usual aspected areas’ – or just
    – some new tales in the climatology doomsday book.
    Let’s see politicians reaction – flood resisting infrastructure or waiting for next elections.

  12. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/science-papers/originals/extreme-weather-extreme-claims
    “The Aztecs had sophisticated irrigation systems and “astrolonomical” observatories, (apparently a mix of astrology and astronomy), to attempt to predict the weather and reservoirs. But the unseasonal frosts and cold, followed by severe, prolonged drought, may have taken them to the brink of collapse. Once the climate became more benign again, they praised their gods with human sacrifice.
    “When rainfall and agriculture had resumed, the Aztecs responded by massively increasing the number of human sacrifices to their rain god Tlaloc. It is thought that hundreds of thousands of people were sacrificed.”
    In the Little Ice Age, witchcraft was blamed for the devastating climate:
    Fagan’s The Little Ice Age (Basic Books, 2000):
    “Witchcraft accusations soared, as people accused their neighbors of fabricating bad weather…. Sixty-three women were burned to death as witches in the small town of Wisensteig in Germany in 1563 at a time of intense debate over the authority of God over the weather.”
    “Almost invariably, a frenzy of prosecutions coincided with the coldest and most difficult years of the Little Ice Age, when people demanded the eradication of the witches they held responsible for their misfortunes.”

      • But I’m glad you didn’t. I like knowing where a link will take me before I click it… and you already avoided all that google redirect stuff and posted a proper link…

    • Indian astrology basically built on planetary motions — astronomy. They formulated a calendar of 60 year cycle. Each year was given a name. Based on the planetary positionsin that year, on new year day according to this calendar the y present qualtatively the amount of rain expected. Along with it they present the food and type production is expected in that year. This is luni-solar calendar. Chinese had a similar 60-year cycle but it lags behind Indian 60-year cycle. However, it is a lunar based system. They used animal names [12] and 5 [panchabhootas] elements. Some say Budhist monks during their visit to India, they carried the Indian system.
      Traditionally kings followed this system in their all activities including starting of wars.
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • French EDF lost money big time because of wind and solar (and Areva lost some money with offshore wind), so the ecoloons want to axe nuclear.
      Makes sense: it’s a human sacrifice!

      • Its the bloody socialists who needed green support at the last election. Hollande said he would shut 4 nuclear but his tart wants more and is going to shut “50%” of french nuclear, raise a 30€ carbon floor tax and put 7 million power sockets at the side of the roads. I didn’t realise that stupidity was sexually transmitted until Hollande came on the scene. Oh wrote that wrong. never mind.

    • Once the climate became more benign again, they praised their gods with human sacrifice.

      A strategy also proned by today’s eco-fascists

    • I really enjoyed The Little Ice Age, though I rolled my eyes a bit at the AGW stuff. What I took away from the book is that weather and climate are weird, ultimately unpredictable, and see-saw wildly even when there is a general trend.
      The book actually reenforced my skepticism, though I doubt that was the author’s intent. Good as a historical text, would have been better without the AGW references. When I read or hear claims that are more “attached” than central to a book, article, or study, I always wonder if the authors are true believers or if they threw in those references in an attempt to seem relevant/get funded/get published, etc.

    • New study ideas …
      (1) Global Warming has reduced the Witch population.
      (2) Witches as an inverse proxy for Global Warming.
      (3) Witches cause Global Cooling.
      … applying for grant monies now.

  13. Some wonders how computers get enhanced to cope with real existing building and infrastructure regulations. On a global model with 100’s of km width grid.
    Dream along!

  14. In the tradition of the Azetecs,
    perhaps the River Goddess needs to be placated by human sacrifice?
    17 October 1961

    • The funded-with-your-money idiots have never heard the term, “The map is not the territory” or they are wilfully ignoring it.

  15. Yesterday on German news: climate change blamed for British battle ships being out of service as water intake for cooling is said to be, well, too warm, apparently due to global warming… ffs.

    • Battleships used to be designed to operate in almost any seas not iced over. Since tropical waters are the hottest we have and haven’t warmed much if at all, we’d have to be talking about battleships confined to the Northern Atlantic, which doesn’t sound like a good idea. That news service does not seem to be onto critical thinking.

  16. Of course, they have not changed the hydrology of the area since 1910 either. Certainly, there were all those areas that were covered with buildings and asphalt back then too.

  17. One can be sure that increased urbanization since 1910 has increased runoff due to impregnable surfaces and exaggerated stream/river flooding. Just like any urbanized area.

      • Let me guess! Floods usually occur in late winter or early spring in Paris, so they allow the reservoirs to fill after that. The extreme rainfall came later this year so there was no way to hold back water. Best laid plans of mice and Paris rats….!

  18. I guess floods are always a little climate related. Whether in 1658 or 1910. Zero evidence to make 2016 any more “special” than 1658.

  19. Sheesh! Climate, weather; it’s hard to keep track. Floods, erosion, rain, sun, we must all be doomed. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
    Although now that I think of it, there are some gullies in Northern Arizona that are a mile deep and dozens of miles long, formed over millions of years. There must have been an awful lot of SUVs driving around back in those days.

  20. According to the AME summary of the “current state of understanding”, there is a connection between SST and rainfall amounts in the United States. (This is based on computer models.) http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00066.1
    “Climate models forced by observed SSTs indicate that drought conditions are more likely to occur over most of the continental United States when the middle and eastern tropical Pacific is colder than normal (La Niña) or when the North Atlantic is warmer than normal (positive Atlantic multidecadal oscillation), with the greatest likelihood of drought occurring when both of these conditions are present (Schubert et al. 2009). The same models forced by a global warming trend SST pattern produce overall warming over land with substantial regional variations but no coherent precipitation response.”
    Summarizing the entire report, with respect to multidecadal SST patterns:
    1) The biggest source of rainfall variations is unknown and natural
    2) The second biggest source is natural decadal and mult-decadal ocean SST oscillations
    3) The primary anthropogenic contributor to rainfall variations is land-use/land-cover changes.
    4) Greenhouse gases have effectively no significant contribution to precipitation changes.
    5) This is all based on testing five computer models.

    • No offense. Do us all a favour. Throw that computer off a pier and measure the sea level change!

  21. – 1658: on February 27, 1658 the Seine rose 8.14 meters (26.7 feet) above its normal level
    – 1740: on December 26, 1740 the Seine rose 7.23 meters (23.7 feet) above its normal level
    – 1910: on January 28, 1910 the Seine rose 7.80 meters (25.6 feet) above its normal level
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1050727
    – June 3, 2016: The Seine was expected to peak in Paris sometime later Friday at about 5 meters (16 feet, 3 inches) above normal

  22. This year was apparently the coldest and the most-rain-interrupted Roland Garros French Tennis Open. Played in Paris in May, that implies the excess rain was associated with unusual cold rather than warmth. If any of the WUWT readership are into their tennis, they would have seen “unprecedented” weather-induced stuff like many lady tennis players playing in knee-length leggings and tracksuit tops rather than their usual attire.

    • We have had our coldest mai in memory (80 yr) but farmers here still say its cyclical. They live to a good age here.

  23. Using flood crests to compare flood events to those in the past is utterly bogus, unless there have been no significant flood control, land use. or topographical changes in the interim, something that seems highly unlikely for the Paris area, or the measurements are adjusted to account for the changes.

    • That’s interesting! I could be a smart ass and point out that it rains and then it stops but I see something more to it. It reminds me of my reverse weather forecast theory, by which I assume that for forecasts more than 4 days out the forecast is actually the least likely outcome.
      These rainfall charts indicate that the upcoming trend will most likely be opposite to the present trend. That has value! Some areas may be more erratic than others but I’m sure this applies in most places.
      My first official prediction- Paris will dry out now!

    • Hello Henry,
      I see you’re still using the rainfall from Bushy Bend Farm.
      Here’s an update for you for the last 2 years
      2014 518.1 mm
      2015 424.6 mm
      Another 2 years significantly below the average of about 600, and the veld looked almost desert-like in January.
      The el Nino may have been a contributing factor but the correlation is rather tenuous. It first received wide publicity in 1982-83, when a serious drought coincided with a strong el Nino, but the myth was dispelled after 719 mm fell in the el Nino year of 1998.
      Of even more interest this summer was the unusual heat.
      IN 94 years of record-keeping – of which the last 20 are close to acceptable standards – the highest reading was 101 degrees F (38.5 C) . This summer 40 C was reached twice in December and 40.5 on 6th January, which also broke the record for the highest minimum, at 23.5 C
      From all accounts, you had it even hotter in Pretoria?

      • True. Pretoria was warm. But now I m in Clarens and it is very cold. I will give a detailed reply later. Henry

      • Hallo Richard
        it seems I did get some data up until 2015, from Potch, I am not sure anymore from where.
        The difference between yours and mine won’t make a difference.
        My theory to explain the heat of the last 2 years in South Africa has to do with the pendulum theory. Namely, as the highest point was reached in 2014, just like a clock, the pendulum stands still. It has to move and turn back the other way. As it stands, up in the air, as a matter of speaking, there is less “weather”…..Somehow the differential between the pole and the equator remains more unchanged and there are less clouds and rain.
        I am sure that if you will look, you will find more sunshine hours in Pretoria, that caused the extra heat.
        Nevermind all of that, AGW theory has it that the heat on earth is caused by entrapment of heat by GHG which would drive minimum temperature up.
        However, as you can see below, in southern Africa there never was any increase in minimum temperatures.
        https://i1.wp.com/oi58.tinypic.com/2mnhh74.jpg
        So, there is no man made global warming. All warming, cooling and weather is natural.

  24. Upon reflection, a better, and probably closer to the truth, title for this blog post might be “Paris area flood control improvements since 1910 reduce effects of climate-change amplified flooding”.

      • Michael I dont think the Rives (banks) have changed much since then. Not sure, though

    • I don’t know what “progress” was made in the drainage basin of the Seine over the last hundred years.
      But, where I live, flood control measures and maintenance of the drainage system WORSENED over the last 50. As demonstrated by the very first photograph in this article on the topic. (link below)
      I am not sure what evidence you have that has lead you to conclude that there have been “flood control improvements” in the “Paris area”.
      Do you have any evidence to support that?
      Where I am, the situation just got worse and worse as land-owners and drainage engineers found their hands tied by the actions of bureaucrats and pressure groups, asserting their preferred ideological obsessions.
      I have witnessed this phenomenon with my own eyes and ears.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/10644101/How-Somerset-Levels-river-flooded-after-it-was-not-dredged-for-decades.html

      • There was some work on the books for the bretons to ease flooding but again I dont know if the money was ever found. As you probably know funding infra structure projects in france is quite weird at times.

    • Upon reflection, a better, and probably closer to the truth, title for this blog post might be….
      Climate change made the flood 10 ft lower…..

    • Actually, this particular comment was meant to be facetious; note the word “probably”. I have no idea as to the state of flood control in the Paris region. My previous comment regarding the validity of comparing of historical flood events, however, is in all seriousness.

    • La Nina has much to do with large rain events. Their major flood in 1910 was at the bottom of a lengthy La Nina. Their major flood in 1955 was close to the bottom of a lengthy La Nina. The flood in 1963 was in the middle of a moderate La Nina. Their flood in 1982 was an exception as it occurred at the beginning of an El Nino. The flood in 1924 happened during a moderate La Nina event in the second half of the year. The major floods in 1910,1955, and 1963 occurred during a 30+ year cold phase.
      Also of interest is that California and the Pacific Northwest experienced heavy to major floods in 1909, 1955/56, and 1964/65, the La Nina storms. Then California had a heavy flood in 1982/83 during an El Nino year. It looks to me that when there is a heavy rain event on the western coast of Europe that the western coast of the US will soon experience a similar event. I have seen correlating events in heavy rains in the UK are then followed within a year by heavy rains on the Pacific Northwest. So my forecast from September of 2014 for a major flood on the Pacific Northwest for this winter is looking very likely to turn into a reality. If that happens then I will also have a good forecast for when the upcoming solar minimum will occur.

    • My graphic above shows that most extreme floods in Paris since 1870. In the early twentieth century they were more frequent and extreme then the periods before or after. Since 1960 the lack of extreme floods could be due to a combination of two factors. First is a result of flood mitigation measures put in place after the 1910 flood, and which took decades to complete. Second is that extreme rainfall was less. Based on the real world flood evidence it does not appear that extreme rainfall is becoming worse as the climate modellers are saying. The check is the rainfall records.
      More details are at my blog.
      https://manicbeancounter.com/2016/06/05/are-the-paris-floods-due-to-climate-changing-for-the-worse/
      Another graphic is the top 10 recorded floods in Paris. For comparison the recent flood peaked at 6.1 metres, 0.5 metres (20 inches) below the 10th worst flood on record.
      https://manicbeancounter.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/top10floods.jpg

  25. The Pont Saint-Bénézet, aka the Pont d’Avignon, built late-12th century, destroyed 40 years later, then rebuilt with 22 stone arches was finally abandoned mid-17th century with 4 arches remaining. Repeated floods of the Rhone kept bashing those arches down, and I guess they got sick of rebuilding them. Climate change, no doubt.

  26. I suppose I’m piling on, but in my personal top three climate-related news absurdities sits the the class of statements to the effect that AGW is evidenced by the claim that so and so rainfall/flood/drought/whatever is the highest/worst since 18XX/19XX. A statement more calculated to define an absence of climate “change” cannot be imagined. Yet it is enthusiastically given prominence in the pro-CAGW media and alarmist blogs. Is it too much to ask for some basic logic here?

  27. Flooding is tied to weather but is neither a weather nor climate event. Rainfall over a catchment is a weather event, but the hydrological impact has much to do with the level of development within the catchment area. Comparing Seine water levels passing through Paris in 2016 vs 1910 is apples-to-oranges. Even upstream of Paris, there are decent-sized cities along waterways.

  28. For 15 years I lived in a flood plain, a small tourist town in Wyoming, Jackson. The Flat Creek runs through the center of town and can very easily overflow it’s banks during a sudden winter melt coupled with valley rain, or during the spring melt after a good snow year.
    The problem isn’t climate, it’s pavement, a problem I expect France is also facing. It’s very easy (and somewhat simple minded) to blame weather or climate on “the problem”, however that just doesn’t hold water (yes, I know). It’s hardscape. As Jackson grew over the time I was there, several very large parking lots were created along the banks of the creek. They block soil from absorbing water and dramatically increase storm and melt runoff.
    But the local “environmentalists”, who’re mostly pudding headed gits fresh out of prep school and living at daddy’s summer home for the season, demonstrate at town hall meetings whenever anyone draws attention to the issue and suggests dredging the creek.
    I gave up and moved. The percentage of morons in the general population far outpaces the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  29. While the beneficial increase in atmospheric CO2 has also resulted in some slight, mostly beneficial warming, anomalously occurring in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere( which has decreased the meridional temp gradient and weakened jet streams, tornadoes and severe storms slightly) the ability of the atmosphere to hold moisture changes exponentially with temperature.
    Additional rains in some places have been beneficial but all things being equal(same meteorological set up), high end/extreme rain events are capable of dumping more water on a planet that is 1 deg. C warmer.
    Whether a slightly warmer planet offers additional opportunities for the ideal set ups needed for extreme rain events is another question and any individual event can’t be tied to the beneficial warming. However, global warming amplifies the hydrologic cycle.
    The last 4 decades have featured the best weather and climate on this planet since the Medeival Warm Period, 1,000 years ago(which was warmer than this in many places)………..with one exception. Amounts of rain in extreme events have increased.
    You will also note that the increase in atmospheric moisture has led to less diurnal temperature swings(temperatures at night have increased more than temperatures during the day).
    Same thing on the time of year(Winter most effected) and location(high latitudes).
    So the coldest times of day(night), coldest times of year and coldest locations have warmed the most.
    When we hear that the Tropics will become unbearable, if warming continues, it’s not true……..they have been effected the least. Warming the coldest places the most, by most objective standards would be considered a benefit……… but not in (mainstream) climate science today.

  30. simple-touriste
    June 11, 2016 at 1:54 am
    “River dredging has been discouraged for over a decade by EU directives.”

    Daniel Amblevert, maire de Sainte-Florence, dans le Libournais, avait fait curer un fossé en octobre 2011 sans avoir demandé l’autorisation afin d’éviter une inondation. Poursuivi par l’Office national de l’eau et des milieux aquatiques(Onema), il avait été relaxé par le tribunal correctionnel de Libourne dans un premier temps puis finalement condamné par la cour d’appel de Bordeaux en février 2015.
    This is near to where I live. I spent a few happy days as a customer of Libourne Hospital some years ago.
    The had cleared a ditch (fossé) in Oct 2011 with aim of avoiding flooding without asking for permission. Pursued by the National Office of Water and of the middle waters and rivers (ie not coastal) it had been (relaxé) typically means thrown out by the tribunal and finally (cant remember the word) thrown out by the Bordeaux main Court. So the bureaucrats were put down and the maire won.
    The difference now is that the maires have lost to the EU many of those powers and will lose more in the future. the end of the EU is in sight , I think.
    The sort of power they had can be shown by the maire of Libourne forcing the water company to charge more per m3 to swimming pool owners.

    • I think quitting the EU wouldn’t help as the native greens are just as annoying.

  31. You don’t need to read French to look at the graph of floods since 1872 in Paris. It is self explanatory.
    http://www.driee.ile-de-france.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Panneaux_crue_cle0681fe.pdf
    See page 1.
    The 2016 flood is by no mean comparable to the 1910 one, and even less to the 1658 flood. It is more or less a decennial event. Dams built in the 1960’s and the 1970’s in the river Seine watershed may have helped. But, as they are also used to sustain the level of shallow waters in summer, they were probably kept almost full at this time of the year.

  32. Something to consider.
    A gauging station near me was there before a dam was built upstream.
    7 of the top 10 crest were before the dam was built.
    But what “historic crest” don’t tell you is how long flood conditions lasted.
    Those 7 flood levels may not have lasted very long.
    A dam near capacity with semi-controlled release may be able to keep the flood crest lower but the flood conditions may last longer.
    PS Environmental regulations may also come into play. Much is said here in the US about the water level in Lake Mead near Las Vegas. It’s been dropping steadily. Some would point to AGW alone and not the larger water demand.
    But, if I’m not mistaken, the dam that formed Lake Mead has been required for many years now to annually “dump” a bunch of water to simulate flash flooding downstream and so clear out sediments so as to not “change” the ecosystem.

    • The last time in the early 1990’s when the Hover Dam was filled and spilling, the Army Corp which is responsible, took a lot of heat from the flooding downstream. I can see how the dam level would be lower. I don’t know how much is due to lack of snowfall in the Rockies and how much has been drawn down down to accommodate the people downstream. It’s not like there aren’t droughts in the west. Not having a good understanding of water rights usually leads to erroneous statements. Every piece of water in the west has been measured, averaged, studied and somebody owns it. Its a dry place. You get outside of some well watered areas in California, and you can certainly wonder how could anybody live here

  33. What’s truly at unprecedented levels is the cost of a beer on Champs-Elysses. Unlike floods on the Seine, they will not recede.

    • “What’s truly at unprecedented levels is the cost of a beer on Champs-Elysses”
      Sometimes the waiter will charge maximum price of tourists and minimum for Parisians.
      Avoid the ultra touristic zones! Discover the “real” Paris.

  34. The Seine floods with some regularity, and a flood of this magnitude was statistically overdue. The lack of preparedness for this expected flooding was discussed in this BBC report from 2013. Fortunately, the forecast for the current flood is 5.2 meters, far below the 8.6 meters of 1910. Any suggestion that elevated carbon dioxide is responsible for the French floods is historically ignorant, and unsupported by data.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25524327

  35. Most German TV-stations have abandond their climate-alarmist explanation of recent fatal flooding in Bavaria and let critics of water-management and acricultural malpractice (corn for bio-fuel at all environmental costs) speak openly.
    Prof. Dr. Dr. (?) Stefan Rahmsdorf and Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif are not expected to retract their statements, though, tat it was “climate change” whodunnit.

  36. ‘Nevertheless, the lack of a significant flood for more than 60 years tends to lessen the memory of risk”. Living memory is the cornerstone of alarmist climate change reporting.

  37. Climate Change does EVERYTHING, and Climate Change is the Greatest Threat we face. We just last night, Climate Change walked into a bar in Orlando and shot 50 people to death.

  38. strange in belgium we had the same tons of rain and nowhere got any river reached historic flood levels.
    Yes there was flooding even very local big flooding, but neither were any of them historical.
    the same for France there was very important local flooding the seine reached a high level but not a historical one and this since quite a long time.

  39. The difference is that in 1910, 1955, and 1982 there was no $100 billion annual climate fund pot-o-money to incentivize the spinning of tall climate tales.

  40. So . . . they stopped heavy dredging decades back . . . delta smelt or whatever the French equivalent may be, then they left the reservoir levels high so as not to run low in the summer . . . and now the flooding is a result of . . . climate change.
    You know, this just keeps getting more and more ridiculous.
    Perhaps, and this is just hypothetical . . . but perhaps they ought to consider managing their reservoirs for flood control rather than for the chamber of commerce. (As we found out here in the states back in 2011.)
    And yes, I know quite well that the real problem was the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers board being commandeered by the greens who figured out a way to have a ‘natural’ spring flow to ‘restore’ the river. But don’t get me started on that.

  41. How about the height of the levees now vs 1910… oh wait, ain’t got no levees! DOH!!!!

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