Local weather change makes lethal European flash floods extra seemingly, examine says – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca

2021-08-24 08:12:45

Scientists say that international warming makes the sort of excessive rainfall that brought about lethal flash flooding in western Europe final month extra seemingly, although it stays unclear precisely how a lot.

A minimum of 220 folks died in Germany and Belgium on July 14-15 when swollen streams was raging rivers, sweeping away homes, roads and bridges, and inflicting billions of euros ({dollars}) in harm.

Learn extra:
Greater than 20 lifeless in heavy western Europe floods, dozens lacking

A examine launched Tuesday by the World Climate Attribution group used historic information and laptop simulations to look at how temperatures affected rainfall from the late nineteenth century to the current. Whereas the examine hasn’t been assessed by impartial scientists but, its authors use broadly accepted strategies to conduct fast assessments of particular climate occasions similar to floods, droughts and warmth waves.

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It discovered that throughout a big strip of western Europe — stretching from the Netherlands to Switzerland — the quantity of rainfall in a single day elevated by three per cent to 19 per cent over the interval, throughout which international temperatures elevated by 1.2 levels Celsius (2.2 levels Fahrenheit).

Specialists say that for each one diploma Celsius (1.8 F) the planet warms, the air can take up seven per cent extra water. When that water is launched, it causes extra excessive rainfall.

The examine, performed by nearly 40 researchers from six European international locations and america, calculated that downpours of the sort that brought about final month’s floods are actually 1.2 to 9 occasions extra seemingly — and this can enhance additional if the planet continues to warmth up.

Click to play video: 'Death toll from Europe’s catastrophic floods expected to climb'

Dying toll from Europe’s catastrophic floods anticipated to climb

Dying toll from Europe’s catastrophic floods anticipated to climb – Jul 16, 2021

Frank Kreienkamp of Germany’s nationwide climate service DWD, who co-wrote the examine, mentioned the findings supported forecasts in a latest U.N. local weather report.

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“People are clearly altering and warming up the Earth’s local weather,” he mentioned. “And with this warming, we’re additionally seeing a change in climate extremes.”

The authors mentioned the harm and lack of life seen on this catastrophe spotlight how nations must do extra to curb greenhouse gasoline emissions and put together for such disasters.

“These floods have proven us that even developed international locations aren’t protected from extreme impacts of utmost climate that we’ve got seen,” mentioned Friederike Otto, affiliate director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford College. “That is an pressing international problem and we have to step as much as it. The science is evident and has been for years.”

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