Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey
Michael Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Christopher Sampson, Fathom Global
This page presents data to illustrate the attributable flooding in the greater Houston are during Hurricane Harvey as simulated by the Fathom Global hydraulical model in a geotiff file format. The model resolution is 30 meters (about 100 feet).
You are encourage to download this data and investigate your own neighborhood of interest. You can validate the baseline simulated "flood that was" against your own personal experience and compare to the "flood that might have been" had there not been a human interference in the climate system. A variety of scientific opinions as to this human effect are presented as detailed in the table below. You can also visualize the "flood that might be" under a pair of high risk scenarios of future climate change if a storm similar to Harvey were to occur again in a much warmer world.
The geotiff file format is not the same as a regular tif graphic files and standard graphic file viewers will not likely reveal much. However, there are free geotiff viewers such as QGIS or commercial viewers such as ArcGis. Be sure to "save as download" as the files are as large as 450MB.
Report broken links or other problems to Michael Wehner, LBNL firstname.lastname@example.org
Figure 3 from our paper showing the South Houston/Pasadena neighborhoods
Simulation of the actual and counterfactual flood in the South Houston and Pasadena neighborhoods. a) The flood that was. b) The flood that might have been in the absence of climate change if human activies increased Harvey storm total precipitation by 7%. c) same as b) except precipitation increased by 38%. Units: meters. 999 denotes areas of permanent water.
Note for example, that a 38% increase means that the actual precipitation was 38% more than it would have been without climate change. Hence, in that simulation, precipitation was decreased by a factor of 1.0/1.38=0.72 as described in our paper.
Click on this link for a QGIS input file that will load all of the geotiff files and create color scales as in our paper: HarveyFlood_WehnerSampson.qgz
Be sure to put this file in the same directory as the geotiff files.
Download a python script to calculate the attributable flood depth change during Hurricane Harvey after choosing a level of human influence (see above and the paper linked below) make_Harvey_flood_difference.py
Michael Wehner and Christopher Sampson (2021) Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey. Climatic Change 166, 20 (2021)