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Climate Change. Part 20:
2017: Group of 20 summit meeting.

Hurricane Harvey at Texas.
Does climate change increase the
severity and/or frequency of hurricanes?

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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Earth + 2 palms 1

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Events at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg:

The G20 (a.k.a. G-20 and Group of Twenty) is an international forum for federal governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. They hold a conference each year. During 2017-JUL, they met in Hamburg, Germany. The government representatives were met with a massive demonstration involving from 22,000 to 200,000 participants estimates differ). Some banners protested the mass drowning of refugees in the Mediterranean who have been trying to escape to Europe. Other protests involved climate change, global inequality, arms trade, etc. 2 Much of the protest was peaceful. However, over 200 police were injured during violent clashes.

All participants in the G-20 signed a joint declaration, with the exception of the United States. It says in part:

"... We remain collectively committed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, increased innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, and work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems. In facilitating well-balanced and economically viable long term strategies in order to transform and enhance our economies and energy systems consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, G20 members will collaborate closely. Recalling the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration, we regard energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of our energy systems, and we will continue to work on open, flexible, and transparent markets for energy commodities and technologies. We welcome international cooperation on the development, deployment, and commercialization of sustainable and clean energy technologies and support financing by Multilateral Development Banks to promote universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy.

We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The United States of America announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs. The United States of America states it will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their nationally determined contributions.

The Leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible. We reiterate the importance of fulfilling the UNFCCC commitment by developed countries in providing means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with Paris outcomes and note the OECD’s report “Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth”. We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, moving swiftly towards its full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances and, to this end, we agree to the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth as set out in the Annex." 3

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Countries and manufacturing companies taking actions to lower greenhouse gases:

  • France is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050:
    • It will be shutting down all coal-powered electricity-generating plants by 2022.
    • Families with lower income will receive grants to replace their gas and diesel-powered cars.
    • It will be banning the sales of gas and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.

  • Norway and the Netherlands expect to ban gas and diesel-powered vehicles by 2025.

  • Volvo in Sweden plans to stop manufacturing gas-only cars by 2019.

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2017-AUG/SEP: Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas:

Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico in late August, and made landfall near Rockport, TX, on AUG-25 as a Category 4 hurricane. It moved inland, and stalled over Houston, where it dumped about 50 inches of rain -- an all-time record rainfall. "Two of Houston’s five wettest days on record were a result of Harvey, and August 2017 was the city’s rainiest month on record." Harvey briefly returned to the Gulf of Mexico, reversed its course, and made landfall again near Cameron, LA. It also caused flash flooding in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

As of the morning of SEP-03, at least 136,000 structures in Texas had been flooded and at least 74 people had died in the state as a result of Harvey. Also, at least 22 people in Houston were missing as of SEP-09. Property damage may reach as much as $200 billion. That compares with $160 billion for Katrina. 4,5

Harvey's highest wind gust recorded was 132 mph at Port Aransas, TX. The highest storm surge was 12 feet at Aransas Wildlife Refuge! The National Weather Service’s West Gulf River Forecast Center estimated that Harvey unleashed 53.4 million acre-feet of water in the form of rainfall, or at least 17.4 trillion gallons. That is almost 2.5 gallons -- or about ten liters -- for every human on Earth. Buffalo Bayou crested about 9 feet above flood stage. Harvey also spun up at least 56 tornadoes! 6

Harvey's greatest measured rainfall was 51.88 inches in Cedar Bayou, TX. The all-time record for rainfall for a hurricane in the U.S. was 52 inches, in Hawaii during 1950. 7

As expected with such a massive storm, some commentators expressed opinions about whether Harvey was caused or influenced by human activity. The general con census among climate scientists is that human activity is generating increasing levels of greenhouse gasses which are causing climate change in the form of global warming. This, in turn, is not causing more major storms to occur. However, the storms that do happen are significantly more powerful and destructive.

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Is global warming changing the severity and/or frequency of hurricanes?

Sorry. This topic is proving to be increasingly important, so we have moved it to another essay, where it will have room to expand.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Image downloaded from Freedigitalphotos. #10098367 . Photo by suphakit73; published on 2012-AUG-21
  2. "G20 Leaders´ Declaration: Shaping an interconnected world," 2017-JUL-7/8. Downloadable in PDF format
  3. "France just announced it's banning sales of gas and diesel vehicles," The Independent newspaper, at:
  4. Sean Breslin & Pam Wright, "Harvey Aftermath: Struggles Continue As Death Toll Rises," Hurricane News, 2017-SEP-03, at:
  5. Gene Veith, "And now Hurricane Irma," Patheos, 2017-SEP-08, at:
  6. John Boyer, "Hurricane Harvey: By the numbers," R, 2017-SEP-02, at:
  7. Federal Advisory Committee, "National Climate Assessment: Extreme Weather: Highlights," at:
  8. David Leonhardt, "Harvey, the Storm That Humans Helped Cause," The New York Times, 2017-AUG-29, at:
  9. Mike Snider, "Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter facing blowback on Hurricane Irma comments," USA Today, 2017-SEP-12, at:
  10. Leonard Pitts, Jr., "Hurricanes are not a liberal conspiracy, trust me on this one," Miami Herald, 2017-SEP-09, at:
  11. Matt McGrath, "Hurricanes: A perfect storm of chance and climate change?," BBC News, 2017-SEP-21, at:
  12. James B. Elsner et al., "The increasing intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones," Florida State University, at:
  13. , "Was the Extreme 2017 Hurricane Season Driven by Climate Change?," 2017-OCT-26, at:
  14. "Hurricanes and Climate Change," Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, undated, at:

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The following reports in this section that discuss environment and climate change may be of interest to you:

  • Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.

  • Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.

  • Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.

  • Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.

  • Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species. Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.

  • Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."

  • Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Con't). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.

  • Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth

  • Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.

  • Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.

  • Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.

  • Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 Promised Plans on Energy and the Environment.

  • Part 13: 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

  • Part 14: star 2017-JAN: Recent Climate Change Measurements!

  • Part 15:2017-JAN to APR: Climate Change Debate is Changing. What if All the Earth's Glaciers Melted?

  • Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High.

  • Part 17: Studies of the Effects of Sea-level Rise in California between Now and the Year 2100.

  • Part 18: President Trump Decided that the U.S. Will Quit the Paris Agreement. Explosive Reactions to his Plan, nationally and globally.

  • Part 19: More Reactions to the U.S. Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Record high temperatures in San Francisco and elsewhere.

  • Part 21: 2017-SEP: 2017-SEP: Can government regulations help? U.S. record high temperatures. Did God send Hurricane Harvey to attack TX?. Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, GA. Hurricanes Jose & Maria.

  • Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message? Conflicts, climate change cause rise in hunger.

  • Part 23: 2017-OCT to 2017-DEC: All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement. Government report contradicts the President. Comment by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • Part 24: 2018-JAN to MAY: New temperature records. President signs bill increasing research."Onion's" amusing fake news. Sea levels rising; cities under water. Climate change beliefs as function of age. Proposed Mount Trumpmore project. Volcano in Hawaii. How global warming is affecting California. Animal, Insect, & Bird Ranges Shrink. Nutrients in rice reduced. California Governor's comments.

  • Part 25: 2018-JUN & JUL: During 2018-JUN: A very few encouraging signs. Hurricanes slowing as winds increase. Changes in Antarctic ice and environment. Norway's growing season increased. A new world highest temperature. Future ocean levels.

  • Part 26: 2018-JUL: New York City reports to the UN. Impacts of humans burning up all our fossil energy. WWW.CLIMATECENTRAL.ORG's tools.
    Death Valley, CA, sets new record. Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern lands. Hurricane Florence.

  • Part 27: 2018-AUG & SEP: Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern countries. Hurricane Florence attacks the Carolinas. Pat Robinson's "Shield of Protection" doesn't work.

  • Part 28: 2018-SEP & OCT: Trump Admin. predicts: 7ºF temperature rise by the year 2099. Impact of climate change on women. Green Building Week & commitment. New IPCC report predicts a "Strong Risk of Crisis as early as 2040.

  • Part 29: 2018-OCT & NOV: Southern Baptist Convention downplays IPCC Report. Climate changing Fall season. Ozone layer continues to heal.
    Trump Confuses Weather & Climate.

  • Part 30: 2018-NOV: Hope for people who have no access to clean water. Trump Administration releases National Climate Assessment report. Reactions to the report.

  • Part 31: 2018-DEC: How to lie about climate change. UN head repeats warning. Major report on Arctic climate. Greenhouse gases soar. Can climate scientists be trusted?

  • Part 32: 2019-JAN: Collecting plastic trash from the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Public opinion on the environment. Status of climate change at the start of 2019.

  • Part 33: 2019-JAN-MAR: If Ocean Cleanup fails.... Public opinion on environment. Climate change in early 2019. Sea rise from Antarctic melting. Denmark fights cow flatulence. Disconnect between the EPA and climate scientists. Change is urgent NOW!

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Copyright © 2017 and 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2017-SEP-03
Latest update: 2018-SEP-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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