Rivers, floods, and climate change

Ah yes the joys of seasonal fluctuations enhanced by climate change– welcome to unprecedented change!

Robby Robin's Journey

It’s spring. Sometimes known in northern reaches such as ours as mud season. To be clear, spring in these parts usually starts several weeks after March 21, after the winter’s snow has really left. And, if you live near a river in these northern climes, mud season comes after the nail-biting spring freshet. The spring freshet is the thaw that happens when the accumulated snow and ice in the river’s watershed melt and swell the river. The nail-biting part is from the anxiety caused by waiting to see if the thaw will be nice and gradual, aka benign, or rapid and dangerous, maybe even very dangerous.

In the past several years, rivers that historically produced destructive floods infrequently are starting to reach damaging flood levels entirely too often. The website floodlist.com does a good job of showing just how extensive flooding has become around the world. In eastern Canada this…

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