Parts of Europe, especially Germany and Belgium, have experienced atypical flooding this year that has brought on significant destruction and losses. The increasing incidences of flooding and other such extreme occurrences are comparable to what several regions across the world are facing at the moment. While it may be shocking to witness, a new study suggests that rainstorms are expected to become 14 times more frequent in the future.
Climate change is leading to higher temperatures across the world. This results in warmer air, which in turn allows room for more moisture content. This will lead to an increase in precipitation.
Additionally, the team notes that climate change can cause rain producing storms across Europe to move slower. This increases the possibility of extreme rainfall events and all that it can lead to. An analysis of the data used in this study led to the conclusion that such storms, and subsequent flooding events across Europe, are expected to occur 14 times more frequently by the end of the century, if significant changes are not implemented.
“Governments across the world have been too slow in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming continues apace. This study suggests that changes to extreme storms will be significant and cause an increase in the frequency of devastating flooding across Europe. This, alongside the current floods in Europe, is the wake-up call we need to produce improved emergency warning and management systems, as well as implementing climate change safety factors into our infrastructure designs to make them more robust to these severe weather events,” said Professor Hayley Fowler, School of Engineering, Newcastle University.
The study also points out the decreasing gap between tropical and polar temperatures, which leads to the weakening of upper-level winds in autumn. Apart from being more frequent, storms are also expected to become more intense and longer in duration.
While the study suggests these potential scenarios for regions across Europe, it does not apply the same to other regions that have experienced increased extreme flooding. The results have been published in Geophysical Research Letters journal.
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