From: University of Connecticut
Published March 7, 2017 12:15 PM

Accounting for Extreme Rainfall

A University of Connecticut climate scientist has confirmed that more intense and more frequent severe rainstorms will likely continue as temperatures rise due to global warming, despite some observations that seem to suggest otherwise.

In a research paper appearing this week in Nature Climate Change, UConn civil and environmental engineering professor Guiling Wang explains that data showing the intensity of severe rainstorms declining after temperatures reach a certain threshold are merely a reflection of climate variability. It is not proof that there is a fixed upper temperature limit for future increases in severe rains, after which they would begin to drop off.

“We hope this information puts things in better perspective and clarifies the confusion around this issue,” says Wang, who led an international team of climate experts in conducting the study. “We also hope this will lead to a more accurate way of analyzing and describing climate change.”

Severe and prolonged rainstorms can have a devastating impact on local environments and economies and are closely watched. These damaging storms can cause catastrophic flooding; overwhelm sewage treatment plants; increase the risk of waterborne disease; and wipe out valuable crops.

Read more at University of Connecticut

Photo: After years of severe drought in southern Calirfornia, heavy winter rains came to the state on Feb. 17, 2017, and with them, the issuance of flash flood watches in three counties, and the evacuation of hundreds of residents from Duarte, Calif. for fear of flash flooding from areas denuded by a wildfire last year. A UConn climate scientist finds that severe rains are likely to continue due to global warming. (Photo by David McNew / Getty Images)

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