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August 24, 2021

by Frank Jordans

Scientists say global warming makes the kind of extreme rainfall that caused deadly flash floods in Western Europe last month more likely, though it remains unclear exactly how much.

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At least 220 people died in Germany and Belgium from July 14th to 15th when swollen streams turned into raging rivers, swept away houses, roads and bridges and caused billions in damage.

One on Tuesday from the World The study published by the Weather Attribution group used historical records and computer simulations to examine how temperatures affected rainfall from the late 19th century to the present day. Although the study has not yet been rated by independent scientists, its authors use well-established methods to make quick assessments of specific weather events such as floods, droughts, and heat waves extends from the Netherlands to Switzerland – the amount of precipitation increased by 3% to 19% in a single day during the period in which the global temperature rose by 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Experts say that for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 F) the planet warms, the air can hold 7% more water. When this water is released, it causes more extreme rainfall.

The study, which was carried out by nearly 40 researchers from six European countries and the United States, calculated that downpours like the one that caused the floods last month are now 1 , 2 to 9 times more likely – and this will continue to increase as the planet continues to heat up.

Frank Kreienkamp of the German weather service DWD, who co-authored the study, said the results support the forecasts in a recent study published UN climate report.

“Humans are clearly changing and warming the earth’s climate,” he said. “And with that warming, we’re also seeing a change in weather extremes.”

The authors said the damage and loss of life in this disaster shows that nations must do more to curb and focus on greenhouse gas emissions Prepare for disasters.

“These floods have shown us that even developed countries are not safe from the severe effects of extreme weather conditions that we have seen,” said Friederike Otto, Deputy Director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. “This is an urgent global challenge and we must face it. The science is clear and has been for years.”

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