Climate change has contributed to deadly floods in Europe, study finds

The study is the latest in the growing field of rapid attribution science, which examines extreme weather events like showers and heat wa...


The study is the latest in the growing field of rapid attribution science, which examines extreme weather events like showers and heat waves to see if they have been influenced by climate change, and if yes, to what extent. It was conducted by Global weather attribution, a collaboration between climatologists and others.

The studies are carried out quickly, while the event is still in the minds of the public. Speed ​​typically means studies aren’t peer-reviewed until later, but they use peer-reviewed analysis techniques, incorporating models and observational data.

The flood study comes with a few caveats, the researchers said. By itself, precipitation does not tell the whole story of a flood; river flows and water levels are better indicators of the possible impact of a storm. But the floods destroyed many of the instruments that would have provided this data, “so we focused our assessment on heavy rainfall as the main driver,” said Sarah Kew, climatologist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.

The thunderstorms occurred over two relatively small areas, too small to be represented in many climate models. The researchers therefore used a “clustered regions” approach, including other regions north of the Alps in the Netherlands.

Despite these limitations, “we are still quite confident that the results we provide are very useful,” said Frank Kreienkamp, ​​climatologist with the German Meteorological Service.

The lower end of the range of results – that warming made such a rainy event 1.2 times more likely – suggests that climate change had less influence and that the event was more the result of natural variability. of the climate. But even that figure represents a 20% increase in the likelihood of climate change, which is important, Dr Kew said.

The research was made public two weeks after the release of a major United Nations report on climate change, which found, among other things, that extreme weather events will continue to increase in frequency and magnitude as warming continues.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Climate change has contributed to deadly floods in Europe, study finds
Climate change has contributed to deadly floods in Europe, study finds
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