quarta-feira, 20 de julho de 2011

Two hours later in Rio

The second Portuguese spoken site where Al Gore will present Climate Reality is Rio de Janeiro, two hours after Cape Verde. Rio de Janeiro, the marvelous city, is known for many reasons. Environmentalists know it for the Earth Summit in 1992. Corcovado, with Christ the Redeemer on its top, samba, the beautiful beaches and Brazilian women, is what the rest of us associate first with Rio.

Al Gore also mentions the 50 kilometers of beaches. When he says that, it's implicit that the beaches will be gone with Global Warming. Al Gore should be aware though that the beaches that surround Rio de Janeiro have a history. Copacabana, probably the best known beach in the world, was one of many artificially filled. In the sixties, LNEC was chosen for its enlargement. In the first figure below, you can see how it looked before the intervention. The second picture shows the beach after the intervention. Please notice that not only the beach is bigger, but also the large avenue was introduced. Unlike today, where computer models typically fail, the intervention was done in those days by physical models, with the third picture below depicting the Copacabana model used by LNEC.

Al Gore also claims that Rio de Janeiro experiences extreme flooding and landslides roughly every 20 years. But this is not true. It really occurs every year; indeed, in this Watts Up With That post, earlier this year, Alexandre Aguiar from METSUL, goes back until 1756, and documents a lot of those tragedies. While earlier this year precipitation measured 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain in just 24 hours, in 1883, on April 26th, 223 millimeters (9 inches) fell in just four hours! Was there Global Warming back then, Mr. Gore? As Aguiar clearly states, it's not Global Warming nor Climate Change the responsible for these annual tragedies; it's human occupation of the land and ridiculous urban planning.

There is expectation that the Gore effect might kick in Rio de Janeiro as well! The rains are not typical of September. The Winter is finishing there, and this has been a very cold season in South America. Evidence is everywhere:
Now, it is more probable that Rio de Janeiro authorities resort to their secret weapon. The Cacique Cobra Coral Foundation claims to control the weather... Its power, and that of hers leader, medium Adelaide Scritori, is so great that last year, the arrangement between said Foundation and the Municipality of Rio terminated at the end of February. One week later, a storm caused six deaths, and the Mayor Eduardo Paes quickly arranged for an extension of the arrangement... So Mr. Gore, if I were you, I would arrange for Scritori's services. You might even control Earth's climate with her, but beware: she only apparently arranges for good weather!