Climate change will significantly alter future patterns of flooding, according to a new study led in part by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Climate change will significantly alter future patterns of flooding, according to a new study led in part by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Although future increases in moderate storms won’t necessarily lead to more runoff in many regions, extreme storms will generate more devastating and frequent flooding.
The reason that increasing precipitation will have these differing impacts on flooding has to do with the influence of warmer temperatures on both atmosphere and land, the study found. At the same time that warmer temperatures will cause the atmosphere to release more moisture, they will dry out soils and enable the land to absorb more rain and snowmelt.
As a result, the water from moderate cloudbursts can seep into the ground instead of inundating the landscape. But the drenching precipitation from extreme storms, which are becoming more frequent with climate change, will saturate the soil and cause increases in flooding, according to advanced computer simulations by the research team.
Read more at: National Center for Atmospheric Research
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