Scientists show that devastating increases in extreme rainfall over the last 30 years fit in with global temperature rise caused by greenhouse gases.
LONDON, 13 July, 2015 – If you think you’re getting an unusually hard soaking more often when you go out in the rain, you’re probably right.
A team of scientists in Germany says record-breaking heavy rainfall has been increasing strikingly in the last 30 years as global temperatures increase.
Before 1980, they say, the explanation was fluctuations in natural variability. But since then they have detected a clear upward trend in downpours that is consistent with a warming world.
The scientists, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), report in the journal Climatic Change that this increase is to be expected with rising global temperatures, caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.
Short-term torrential rains can lead to what the team calls “high-impact” flooding. For example, extreme rainfall in Pakistan in 2010 brought devastation that killed hundreds of people and led to a cholera outbreak.