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Extreme Floods of Southwest Germany
Burger, K., Seidel, J., Glasser, R., Sudhaus, D., Dostal, P. and Mayer, H. 2007. Extreme floods of the 19th century in southwest Germany. La Houille Blanche: 10.1051/lhb:2007008.

One of the cardinal creeds of the world's climate alarmists is that there will be more severe flooding in a CO2-enriched warmer world; and one of their cardinal claims is that 20th-century warming has been unprecedented over the past two millennia ... and maybe a whole lot longer (Hansen et al., 2006). Hence, the world should have experienced some truly phenomenal flooding over the past century or so, and especially over the last few decades. But has it?

What was done
In a study that sheds some light on this question as it pertains to southwest Germany, Burger et al. review what is known about flooding in this region over the past three centuries, which takes us back into the Little Ice Age, when according to climate-alarmist "wisdom" flooding should have been much less significant than it has been recently.

What was learned
The six scientists report that the extreme flood of the Neckar River (southwest Germany) in October 1824 was "the largest flood during the last 300 years in most parts of the Neckar catchment." In fact, they say "it was the highest flood ever recorded [our italics] in most parts of the Neckar catchment and also affected the Upper Rhine, the Mosel and Saar." In addition, they report that the historical floods of 1845 and 1882 "were among the most extreme floods in the Rhine catchment in the 19th century," which they describe as truly "catastrophic events," and speaking of the flood of 1845, they say it "showed a particular impact in the Middle and Lower Rhine and in this region it was higher than the flood of 1824 [our italics]." Finally, the year 1882 actually saw two extreme floods, one at the end of November and one at the end of December. Of the first one, Burger et al. remark that "in Koblenz, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine, the flood of November 1882 was the fourth-highest of the recorded floods, after 1784, 1651 and 1920," the much-hyped late-20th-century floods of 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2002 not even meriting a mention.

What it means
Real-world data from southwest Germany argue strongly against the climate-alarmist contention that global warming - due to whatever - leads to the occurrence of more severe flooding. Other data from other parts of the world - see Floods in our Subject Index - generally do the same.

Hansen, J., Sato, M., Ruedy, R., Lo, K., Lea, D.W. and Medina-Elizade, M. 2006. Global temperature change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103: 14,288-14,293.

Reviewed 19 September 2007