Steroids, Baseball and Climate Change

ICLEI Canada believe the difference between “normal” extreme weather and “climate change enhanced” extreme weather is anthropogenic “steroids”.

It’s mid-July [2013], and summer has already produced a number of very significant and newsworthy weather events. But can we blame climate change? Yes, but it isn’t as simple as saying that climate change caused any single event. 

On June 20th, continued heavy rains in southern Alberta overwhelmed many streams and rivers emanating from the Rocky Mountain foothills, causing widespread flooding.

Of course, these types of extreme events have existed forever, and it would be incorrect to place all of the blame of these events on changing climates…The challenge is often explaining the difference between “normal” extreme weather and “climate change enhanced” extreme weather.



The flow rate of the Bow River in Calgary peaked at 1,500 cubic metres of water per second. Previous floods in the 1900s, 1930s and late 1800s were ‘worse’ in terms of river flow rate. Red Deer River flow rate peaked at 1,930 cms in 1915.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at , July 27, 11.05.38 PM

2013 Alberta floods were ‘worse’ due to the presence of a highly-developed city of over one million residents downstream. Thus, because of increased economic loss, the floods were naturally caused by human green-house gas emissions, and a climate on steroids.

Fortunately the IPCC can’t find the link between anthropogenic steroids and extreme weather, confirming “We do not know if the climate is becoming more extreme” 

In any case, if extreme flooding is a concern, you can always take refuge on the 45th floor of a United Nations ICLEI Agenda 21 ‘Human Habitat Settlement Zone’ high-rise building. Coming to a ‘smart growth zone’ near you!

H/t to Brendan

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