For this first homework, I want you to read the following article from 2016 about Houston’s vulnerability to flooding. Hurricane Harvey utterly wreaked havoc in one of the largest cities in the USA. Was it predictable? Yes. How much did the policy makers rely on or avoid scientific input? How credible is the science? What patterns and models are involved in flooding prediction? How has the ‘human element’ impacted the vulnerability of Houston?
This is an important and current environmental issue that clearly bridges science as well as policy. Please read the online article and answer the following questions with typed out answers. I would like you to submit your homework by Thursday, February 8th at 11:59pm through Blackboard.
Boomtown, Flood Town. (ProPublica, The Texas Tribune)
Why do scientists think that climate change will bring more “frequent and fierce rainstorms” to Houston? Be specific.
What do the Flood Control officials feel is the best solution to prepare for flooding?
What is the scientific evidence discussed in this story to support claims that overdevelopment will lead to increased flooding?
What is “Urban Flooding”? Don’t Google it, use your own words, paraphrasing the story.
What is the problem with using historical data to plan for the future, in this case?
Give examples of data presented in this article. How did this data support the science to you, as a reader?
How has the value of the reservoirs been changed since they were built? How much of this is due to development?
How have other major cities planned for climate change and flooding? Give some examples.