Europe’s extreme rains made more likely by humans

Europe's extreme rains made more likely by humans
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Daily US Times: Scientists said that the extreme rains behind deadly flooding in Europe in July was made more likely by climate change.

The floods in Belgium, Germany and other parts killed at least 220 people as villages and towns were swamped.

Researchers say global heating made rainfall events like this up to nine times more likely in Western Europe.

Rainfalls in the region are 3-19% more intense because of human induced warming.

The deadly floods that hit Belgium, Germany and elsewhere in mid-July were a shock to weather forecasters and local authorities.

Lives were swept away and motorways, railway lines and houses destroyed by the rapidly rushing waters.

The severe flooding was caused by extreme rains over a period of 1-2 days on already sodden ground, combined with local hydrological factors such as infrastructure and land cover.

To analyse the impact of climate change in the devastating events like this, researchers from the World Weather Attribution group focused on the heavy downpours that preceded the floods.

They did this in part because some of the hydrological monitoring systems were destroyed by the waters. The system would have given the scientists more accurate information about the floods,

The rainfall data showed that in the areas around the Meuse region of Belgium and the Ahr and Erft rivers in Germany, intense downpours brought 90mm of rain in a single day.

To really see the influence of rising temperatures, the scientists had to broaden their analysis and look at a larger section of Western Europe, including western Germany, eastern Belgium, eastern France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and northern Switzerland.

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