What Is A 1000 Year Flood?

by P. Homewood, Apr 18, 2023 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

We’ve all heard the terminology. An extreme event happens — a flood or heat wave — and soon after it is characterized as a “1,000-year event” (or it doesn’t have to be 1,000, it could be any number). This week I watched one of the world’s most visible climate scientists, Michael E. Mann, go on national TV and in process show that he had no idea what the concept actually means.

Let’s start by correcting that climate scientist who expressed a popular misconception (about which climate scientists should know better). A 1,000-year flood does not refer to a level of flooding that comes around every 1,000 years.