Are the floods in La Plata related to climate change?

Organization(s):Colegio French
Student(s):Sofia Garguilo
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher(s):Emiliano Basic
Report Type(s):Standard Research Report
Date Submitted:05/03/2013
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This research is about the causes of the floods in the Argentinean city of La Plata during 2nd April, and if those causes are related to climate change. I could not find enough evidence to prove that relation. On the contrary, most of the evidence pointed the lack of actions of the government as the main cause of the floods.


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Hola Sofia! Interesante tema de estudio! estamos estudiando ciudades a traves del mundo pare mejor comprender esos impactos de los cuales tu hablas. Hay una relación directa entre el cubierto impervio en cuidades como Buenos Aires y inundaciones como la que tuvieron recién. Te doy unas preguntas en ingles aquí porque me falto un poco de detalles en tu descripción. Saludos!

I wanted to ask your students a couple of questions since i found the report to be a little light on details. I realize maybe the students also do not speak english.
1) Did you use GLOBE data? (rainfall or land cover or other)
2) what is the research showing for potential impacts of climate change on argentina? do you expect there to be more or less rain in the future? will there be more extreme events such as this one? you need to do a little research on what is expected.
3) Related to 2) are these types of events becoming more frequent?
4) The connection between climate and weather: from year to year you can have variation in weather (hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, etc…) but climate change is something that we look at over decades? to look at issues with climate change you need to try to link the data on the longer term with other variables such as temperature, land cover etc… so you may want to look at that if you are trying to connect this to climate change.
5) Scientists are finding connections between the amount of built-up areas and the strength of flooding since the built-up areas do not allow water to penetrate the soils. Do you think this could also have contributed to the flooding? are there any maps that show the growth in the areas of buenos aires? you may be able to find local data but you need to have data to begin to make connections and conclusions.
6) you can make your report better by adding images or maps of the area. perhaps explain how many people were afftected and how much money was lost,

In any case very interesting project! I hope you have learned something throught this and i hope the areas of flooding are getting better. Please feel free to contact me with questions. I do speak spanish.

Posted on 5/17/13 4:17 PM.

Hi Eric, I´m Sofia. 1) Due to the lack of time for preparing the project properly, I did not find data in >GLobe related to the area I was studying.
2) and 3) Events like this one are not frequent here, so I need to do more research as regards this.
5) Yes, I think the increase of built-up areas contributes to the strenght of flooding, specially when the drainage system stays the same. The re are maps showing the urban growth in buenos Aires.
Thank you for your suggestions, I found them very useful.

Posted on 5/27/13 1:10 PM in reply to Eric Brown de Colstoun.

Did you find any data to quantify the changes in La Plata from its rapid growth?

Posted on 5/22/13 3:39 PM.

Hello Mr. Butler. I couldn´t find any data to quantify these changes. I only found that the city has growth in the last 20 or 30 years, increasing its populations and built-up areas.

Posted on 5/27/13 1:12 PM in reply to Dixon Matlock Butler.

Your investigation as to the causes of recent floods is very interesting. There are many aspects your students can research including land-use change and rainfall. You can find historical records of precipitation on the GLOBE website at:

Posted on 6/3/13 2:33 AM.