Scientists warn for more floods

Scientists warn for more floods

Simulations warn: be prepared for more floods.

Researchers at the Met Office and Newcastle University have warned that global warming will lead to an increase in summer downpours and flash flooding.

This study is the first to make a direct link between increasing global temperatures and summer flooding.

Floods simulated

It took the Met Office supercomputer nine months to run the latest simulations: the most accurate the agency has produced so far. Under the most extreme warming projections there could be five times the number of extreme events exceeding 28mm per hour.

“This should help people to understand what is likely to happen in the summer in future. It’s very important that we’ve detected this signal for heavier downpours in the UK. It’s now for policymakers to decide what to do about it,” Lead author of the study Elizabeth Kendon.

Wall of water

Climate models suggest that winter rainfall will increase in the UK. Intense bursts of rainfall following dry periods can be particularly problematic, as dry land is less capable of absorbing water. For example, in August 2004 in Boscastle in North Cornwall, 200mm of rain fell in four hours, giving rise to a three meter wall of water which flooded through the village causing great damage.

Read more

Report in Nature with figures and facts 

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