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Intense Storms Like Those Seen This Week Will Become More Common in Europe, Scientists Say

22.07.2021 10:31 AM
Intense Storms Like Those Seen This Week Will Become More Common in Europe, Scientists Say
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Intense Storms Like Those Seen This Week Will Become More Common in Europe, Scientists Say
Researchers have said that catastrophic floods like the one that hit Europe recently could become more frequent as a result of global warming, according to The Guardian. A study suggests that slow-moving storms could become 14 times more common on Earth by the end of the century in a worst-case scenario. The danger of these storms stems from the fact that the slower the storm moves, the greater the precipitation over a small area and the greater the risk of serious flooding.

And researchers already knew that rising air temperatures caused by the climate crisis meant the atmosphere could hold more moisture, which in turn led to more torrential rains.

However, the latest analysis assesses for the first time the role of slow-moving storms in causing heavy rainfall in Europe.

The storms projected in the new study are moving more slowly than those that inundated Germany, the Netherlands and other countries last week, and will therefore lead to more intense rain and flooding.

"The simulations give the idea that worse could happen," said Abdullah Kahraman, of Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research.

Lizzie Kendon, from the UK Met Office, added: “This study shows that in addition to intensifying rainfall with global warming, we can also expect a significant increase in slow-moving storms. This is closely related to the recent floods in Germany and Belgium, which highlights the devastating effects of slow-moving storms.

Scientists believe that the rapidly warming Arctic may be the root cause of the slowdown in storms, and the phenomenon has already been linked to devastating heat waves in Russia and floods in Pakistan.

The study showed that the largest increase in slow storms is in the summer. "In the summer, and especially in August, the highest increase in slow storms occurs on the European continent," Kahraman said.

The severity and scale of the recent floods in Western Europe, in which more than 180 people died, shocked climate scientists, who did not expect such disasters to happen soon.

Professor Hayley Fowler, from Newcastle University and a member of the study team, said: 'Governments around the world have been too slow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming continues apace.
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