Internet debates about the role of climate change in the devastating Kentucky floods

Social media users talked about climate change on Friday and the potential role they think it has played in recent times flash flood Experienced in parts of Kentucky.

Earlier this week, torrential rains hit several areas in eastern Kentucky, leading to devastating floods, causing widespread damage to property and At least 16 deaths. During a news conference on Friday, Kentucky Governor Andy Bashir announced that children may be among those who died and said, “This situation continues. We are still in search and rescue mode, and at least in some areas the water is flowing and it won’t reach the top until tomorrow.”

While dozens of social media users shared photos and images of extensive damage Because of the floods, others have discussed climate change.

Kentucky
Flash floods in Kentucky prompted social media users to discuss climate change. Above, a flood from the North Fork of the Kentucky River came over Burt T Combs Mountain Parkway outside of Jackson, Kentucky, on July 29.
Michael Swensen/Getty Images

Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., shared a photo of the flash flood seen in Kentucky and said, “My heart goes out to the people in #Kentucky devastated by the floods. Man-made climate change, especially when combined with poverty, a man-made disaster, is making Severe weather is even more devastating.”

Twitter user danyb3 shared a similar photo and wrote, “SE Kentucky is underwater. No cellular service. Dozens missing. (Hopefully because there is no cellular service.) 100 years, 500 years floods? Climate change is real.”

Twitter user Duane Peters also shared a photo of the floods that also captured a signal Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.

“What a paradox. Devastating flash floods hit KY as a large trailer with Vote Mitch McConnell for Kentucky swept away. McConnell denies that climate change is real and continues to subsidize global warming fossil fuel barons to meet the needs of KY citizens,” the tweet He said.

Florida House of Representatives candidate Cindy Panay also discussed climate change and the Kentucky floods, say“We need to take climate change seriously. We need to invest in our infrastructure to face the new reality.”

Panay’s tweet added: “It’s horrible to hear about the floods in Kentucky. My heart goes out to the community and to the families of the missing.”

Jeff Berardelli, chief meteorologist for WFLA-TV, posted similar observations on Twitter. “9” of rain in 12 hours in Hazard, KY is simply in its own realm. To say that it is one expected event in 1,000 years, in a 20th century climate, is an understatement. But with climate change, what was nearly impossible at the time is now not just possible, it’s possible,” Berardelli Wrote.

according to Louisville Courier JournalThis isn’t the first time that parts of Kentucky have experienced flooding. In 2021, Braithet County experienced a similar incident when water levels rose from the Banbul Lake Dam, damaging homes and other property.

In an email sent to Louisville Courier Journal“The state’s climate is getting significantly warmer and wetter,” said Kentucky climatologist Megan Shargorodsky.

During a press conference on Thursday, Bashir briefed residents on the flooding incident and spoke about climate change.

“I think climate change is real, and I think it’s causing more extreme weather. However, I don’t know anything about this, and whether it’s related or not. And I don’t want to cheapen or politicize what these people are going through.”

The face of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson NEWSWEEK To the Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, which said: “Across the southeastern United States, the effects of sea level rise, increased temperatures, extreme heat events, heavy precipitation, and reduced water availability continue to have numerous consequences for human health, the environment and the natural world.

“The number of extreme precipitation events is increasing. For example, the number of days with 3 inches or more of precipitation has been historically high over the past 25 years, with the 1990s, 2000s, and 2000s taking over It is the first decades, third and second largest number of events in a row.”