Australia's Floods Follow a Record Year of Heat and Fires

Welcome to climate change impacts!

Yes, climate change can cause record heat and record rains. The volatility of the weather is what is an indicator. Warmer temperatures have the atmosphere holding more moisture that then falls in the form of rain — lots of it at times. 

See this article: "Australia to rescue thousands as Sydney faces worst floods in 60 years." This after the last year's record fires. 

Another aspect of climate change is that the weather patterns and experiences of the past are not good indicators for the future. Our property insurance companies will tell you that fact, which is a concerning issue for them when that is how they priced their policies in the past.

I noted in another article in the New York Times that spectators watched as a new "flood proof" bridge that had just opened became submerged in the flooding. It had been built 10 feet higher than that last one — based on past flood experiences. This is what I'm talking about, how the past is not a good indicator of our future when it comes to our disaster experiences for weather-related events.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.