On the initiative of the World Weather Attribution (WWA), an international team has made a first attribution study to answer the question whether the risk of severe weather due to climate change, such as the heavy rainfall of 14 and 15 July, has increased.
The floods started in the United Kingdom as flash floods causing some property damage and inconvenience. Later floods affected several river basins across Europe including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. At least 230 people died in the floods, including 184 in Germany, 42 in Belgium, 2 in Romania, 1 in Italy and 1 in Austria.
The observed precipitation amounts in Germany and Belgium far exceeded historical observations. The study concludes that the probability of such an extreme event in Western Europe has increased due to climate change.
In contrast to the attribution of heat waves, extreme rain attribution is scientifically very difficult. The two worst affected regions, namely the Meuse basin in Belgium and the Ahr-Erft region in Germany, are too small to obtain reliable results with an attribution study. Therefore, the study area was expanded to a region in Western Europe that also includes parts of France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Chance of extreme precipitation increased due to global warming
The study considers the maximum daily rainfall during the summer six months in the wider region of Western Europe. Based on observations and data from detailed regional climate models, such an event can be expected to occur once every 400 years in every region of Western Europe, according to the study. The study further shows that given the global average temperature increase today of 1.2°C compared to the period 1850-1900, the probability of extreme rain events in the study area has increased by a factor of 1.2 to 9, and in intensity from 3 to 19%! Further increases in global average temperature will push up the probability and intensity of such events even more. These results are also in line with the findings of the recently published IPCC report.
Perhaps this info will shake us all up enough to finally start offsetting or — even better — changing our CO2e emission habits; to start limiting our personal, consciously chosen impact on the Earth’s (completely intertwined) ecology.
Feel free to calculate your emissions here to KNOW what your current annual private/business choices produce: https://parkecovillagetrust.co.uk/carbon-offsetting/carbon-offset/ .
You can then choose to OFFSET these CO2emissions by buying into our reasonably priced oxygen producing and/or carbon sequestering projects (https://parkecovillagetrust.co.uk/category/carbon-strategy/offset-projects/).
If you have any questions checkout our Carbon FAQ submenu or simply [email protected] c/o carbon offsetting for immediate support! You’ll be thanked by/with a healthier and relatively cooler atmosphere, and by the world’s youngsters… Surely that’d be cool too?