When it comes to blaming modern climate change for the recent flooding in Paris, this picture says a thousand words

From the “they should put this picture in the Louvre” department:

Recent over-the-top wailings from the usual suspects have been blaming current climate change for the flooding in Paris. We already demonstrated how one statue and high watermarks tell the story, but this one from Kristine Mitchell and Julien Knez  is even better.

Credit Julian Knez

Credit Julien Knez

More than 100 years ago, the Seine River rose a record breaking 8.6 m above usual levels, causing the catastrophe known as the 1910 Great Flood of Paris. Over the past week, as the picturesque streets of the French capital city began to submerge once again, artist Julien Knez was struck by the similar atmosphere of fear and awe brought on by water slowly creeping up over the river’s embankments. This time around, though water levels peaked at 6.10m, Knez images demonstrate the striking similarities between eras as the landmarks of Paris are transformed by river swell, back in 1910 and now in 2016.

Last time the river flooded, it ended up costing the city nearly $1.5 billion dollars in damages, and parts of the city were submerged for nearly two months. This time, flooding was fairly sudden, causing widespread closure of transportation and several famous museums including the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. Masterpieces that were being stored in the basement of the former had to be moved elsewhere for protection, and thousands were evacuated from their homes. Even now, as water levels slowly return to normal in Paris, Knez’s photo comparisons capture the shocking power of nature as humans scramble to get out of its way.

There are many more similar comparisons here. Well worth a look. h/t to Harold Ambler who has a great book, Don’t Sell Your Coat

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59 thoughts on “When it comes to blaming modern climate change for the recent flooding in Paris, this picture says a thousand words

  1. Considering how much more of the city and its surrounds have been built over since 1910, the floods then would appear to have been more severe then , even if the impact is greater now.

  2. It was pointed out to me that there has been quite a bit of work done to mitigate flooding, ie, building water reservoirs and such, BUT: Paris has expanded quite a bit since 1910. A lot more land is paved over and there’s a lot less Immediate places in and around the city for water to go. So I still believe they have a problem… and it is with the theory of ‘man-made’ global warming, ’cause it still ain’t flooding as much.

  3. But wait, it’s worse than we thought … Paris, second home to my lovely wife, (born in Geneva), is an infrastructure mess. The storm drains are completely blocked with years of debris, and most of the secondary drainage paths that help skirt water toward the west, below Saint-Denis, have since been blocked by things like “pesky” buildings. Despite the fact that Paris is pretty flat, it’s still a valley, and everything has evolved, since WWII, to channel water right back toward the river … a flood? Go figure.

  4. The longer you sit, watching people walk by, the more likely you are too see someone taller than all the rest. From this you can conclude that CO2 is making people taller.

    No one stops to think, what has changed? Is it the height of people, of the length of time we have been watching?

    This is what separates youth from the aged, experience. Youth see a flood, and conclude that something has changed. The aged see a flood, and recall that they saw the same 100 years ago.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • That statement is false. If you are sampling a variable with a normal distribution then the longer you sit
      and watch the probability that someone taller will come along decreases exponentially.

      • Two different probabilities…as stated, both statements are correct.

        Fred is discussing the probability that a SET OF OBSERVATIONS will contain an outlier (as predicted by the normal distribution). As the sample size (number of observations over time) increases to infinity, the probability that an predicted outlier will be contained within the sample set, no matter how improbable, DOES increase. At the same time, however, the probability that any PARTICULAR observation will be greater than any previous observation, DECREASES as the sample size increases..

      • …although…fred’s statement, taken literally, is a tautology, since, depending on precision of the measurement, EVERY set of observations greater than 2 MUST contain an observation tallER than “all the rest” (of the set of observations)… :)

  5. There’s a cartoon called A Monster in Paris that features the 1910 Paris floods. I was very surprised when I saw it and looked up the real pictures of the flooding, thinking that the movie was massively exaggerating. Turns out fact is as strange as fiction (except the monster and the massive plants which will be caused by climate change /sarc).

  6. My youngest son’s school is on the banks of the Seine, close to Bastille. He was very disappointed the flooding wasn’t worse and he didn’t get a single day off. Some you win, some you lose.

    • -Griff
      Like nearly every statement about this, yours is meaningless. The city and its environs, including the river and all its connecting waterways are greatly changed since 1910. To cite one difference between then and now is excluding a hundred others

      • It is an important difference though, isn’t it?

        This flooding occurred because of intense rainfall in a short period…

      • “It is an important difference though, isn’t it?”. So therefore it must be climate change…? It could be anything Griff. Sooner or later, every place on earth will record a dump of rain that has not been witnessed in living memory, regardless of global warming or global cooling or total climate stasis.

      • Yes, Grif, the difference is important. The recent Paris flood was 2.0 metres LOWER than the one in 1910.

  7. flood of 1910 worse then now, “act of God” in that time spirit. (which now we simply would call “weather”)

    flood of 2016 far beneath the record of 1910 and some more recent floods: climate change

    that’s the difference i spot.

    in short: just weather… for now

    however if this scenario is to repeat next year and the following year then i would be concerned. in our region (Northern france, belgium,…) the LIA was preceeded by a few years with very unusual wet springs and rain events.

  8. The world has turned away from the pioneers, a type of folk that can be found on nearly every continent and in every age. When weather turned bad, surviving it was the responsibility of each person. And the foolish were blamed for their own demise if plausible, and bad luck was the fall back. Through all that toil, both the successes and the disasters, these same pioneers persevered and laid the ground work for the type of life we benefit from today.

    However, today when bad happens through bad luck or poor planning, no blame is placed on the individual person for bad luck or piss poor planning. Instead, blame is shot like a potato out of a gun squarely at the success of those pioneers who toiled to create the industrialized life we are blessed with today.

    The photographs give new meaning to wussiness, pussyiness, and the modern pervasive lack of pioneer intestinal fortitude. To those crying like children at big bad Paris weather, you have a new title: Parisian Pussies, because somebody has removed your spine. Dismiss the weather worried green watermelons declaring that the sky is falling and you are causing it. Get some backbone man!

    • The pictures and Pamela’s words should be on every TV screen and in every paper in Paris. I know the country in known for w(h)ine, but enough already.

      • j
        Yet they resolutely eat snails.
        Brave braves.
        I love my Gallic neighbours, many of whom now live in London [apparently London was #6 in a list of cities world-wide, by number of eligible French voters, at the last Presidential election; #1-5 were in France.]

        Auto – a resolute drinker of French Red Wine.

  9. The bridge picture comparison shows the water levels there as approximately equal, meaning that the 1910 pic was not at the peak, but somewhat lower. By eye, the bridge surface appears about 1.5 m above the river level in bo. If so, the 1910 level of 8.6 m above normal would have inundated the bridge, and the connecting roads.

  10. A few years ago we had a big flood in our town. It was up to the bottom of bridges, which were thus closed. Thousands came out to look in the downtown in spite of how hard it was to get around. The next 2 years we had the same flood, and no one came out to look–it was now “part of normal”. We have a short attention span. 100 years? Impossible.

  11. What point are these photos refuting? The two articles linked to put the flooding as the worst in 30 or 50 years. Nobody seems to be claiming the flooding was worse than 1910.

    They also point out it’s unusual to have flooding in May. The 1910 flooding was in January.

    • Nobody seems to be claiming the flooding was worse than 1910.

      So it was worse before the CAGW monster arrived. Okay, it all makes sense now…

    • The point is the cherry picked the numbers to make it appear “unprecedented”. Low Information Climate trolls will read the article (probably only the headline) and claim it is the worst flooding “ever”.

    • The point is that the 1910 flooding was well before the “manmade climate change” boogeyman reared its ugly head. In other words, it was naturally-caused. Yet here we are today, with a very similar type of flooding, and it’s now suddenly down to “manmade climate change”. Yeah, right. Pull the other one.

      • The point is that the 1910 flooding was well before the “manmade climate change” boogeyman reared its ugly head. In other words, it was naturally-caused. Yet here we are today, with a very similar type of flooding, and it’s now suddenly down to “manmade climate change”.

        But they are not saying flooding like this can only happen due to human caused climate change, just that it’s increased the probability of it happening.

      • Bellman, “But they are not saying flooding like this can only happen due to human caused climate change, just that it’s increased the probability of it happening”.

        Yes, that’s what they say and also that’s what they cannot prove because of an absolute lack of evidence of any of these events happening more often than before anywhere in the world.

    • Bellman,

      Simple. A) They call is “historic” flooding, implying something never before witnessed by mankind. B) If floods in 1910 were even worse, why would they claim this one must be this bad because of global warming, when in 1910 the era of industrial emissions had barely begun, and the climate was presumably much cooler?

  12. Low Information Climate trolls will read the article (probably only the headline) and claim it is the worst flooding “ever”.

    So the complaint is about reading comprehension rather than the actual reports? So why is the headline “When it comes to blaming modern climate change for the recent flooding in Paris, this picture says a thousand words”. The only thing the picture says is that the seine was higher in 1910, but the original report says the same.

    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.

    • No, the point is articles are deliberately misleading, just like 97% meme, the science is settled, CO2 deliberately mislabeled as “carbon”, and on and on. . .

      Simple messages for simpletons. Propaganda for political not scientific reasons.

      • Simple messages for simpletons. Propaganda for political not scientific reasons.

        Again, I ask what point is this article tying to make?

        I notice that Eric Worrall’s previous post admits that the report he’s criticizing explicitly said 1910 was worse. So I’m still unsure what point the postcard proves. It seems to me that these two posts are attacking a report for things it didn’t say rather than point out what he thinks is wrong with the actual claims:

        Overall, the probability of 3-day extreme rainfall in this season has increased by at least 40 percent in France, with the best estimate of about 80 percent on the Seine and about 90 percent on the Loire.

        I’ve no idea if their analysis is correct or not, but pointing to a winter flood in 1910 isn’t going to prove anything.

  13. Way back in 1910 that was just weather. This modern day stuff is CLIMATE CHANGE doncha’ know.

    • I now have proof the climate is cooling. Yesterday the high temperature where I live was 16 degrees below normal, and 30 degrees below the record high for the date set in 1950.

      Unusually warm weather is cited as proof of climate change and CAGW, but unusually cool weather is just, well, “weather” according to the warmistas.

  14. Wait a darned minute. You can’t use observations recorded in 1910, that is observable data which we all know is not as reliable as computer models. I think we have to wait for the official computer models of flood conditions in 1910. This is climate science 101; when models do not agree with observation, models supersede observation, when observation does not agree with the 97% consensus and an appropriate model is not available, you wait for a new model to be built.

    Meanwhile 74% of America feels the country is headed in the wrong direction, or basically heading down the toilet, which if they only paid more in environmental taxes, built more solar panels, paid more for energy, and basically slashed their standard of living, they would turn around and immediately feel the country was heading in the right direction.

  15. What everybody seems to have missed is that in over a hundred years Paris has not fixed its bridges.

  16. Then there is the President of France getting on TV to say that this unprecedented flood is caused by AGW. How can the President of France be so ignorant of the history of his nation?

    • Climate change is the perfect excuse for failure. So every problem is YOUR fault.
      Isn’t it great to be a politician? And people just accept it as the TRUTH. Please, tax me! For I have sinned!

    • ” How can the President of France be so ignorant of the history of his nation?’

      Stupid is the new normal …

  17. Unfortunately, using flood crest values to compare flooding events separated by decades, or centuries, without considering changes in topography, land use, and flood control is utterly meaningless, as I pointed out in response to a similar blog post a few days ago.

  18. Floods do re-occur as experience indicates in Brisbane -the sub -tropical capital city of the state of Queensland, located on Australia’s east coast.
    Brisbane has in fact been inundated by six severe floods in the last 150 years: 1864, 1893, 1897, 1974 2011 and then again in 2014.
    Indeed, the 1974 flood now looks to have been, at 77 years since the previous drenching, long overdue. The 1897 flood was preceded by another severe flood just 4 years before in 1893. Makes you think—there may be another flood coming sooner than we had expected in 2011-.as indeed happened again in 2014!
    But this flood history did not prevent then leading Green Bob Brown in 2011 opportunistically suggesting that burning Queensland coal had contributed to the flooding in that year.
    In other words the flooding was “our” man-made fault.
    Well actually it was in 2011- but that was more to do with building development having been allowed on floodplains (plus it has been suggested some arguably ineffective high water management -which I will let the hydraulic engineers argue about) than so -called AGW

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