Heavy rain accompanied deadly flooding in the United States and many other countries over the weekend and last week.
Several dozen people died in it. South Korea’s central and southern regionsA waterway including the Chongqing region was flooded and stranded motorists drowned.
In the US, flooding killed five in Upper Makefield Township, Pennsylvania. Search continues for two missing children.. Last weekend, flooding hit parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. A state of emergency has been declared in New Jersey by Gov. Phil Murphy following heavy flooding and landslides.
While the devastating floods are occurring in different parts of the world, climate scientists say they have one thing in common: With climate change, storms are forming in warmer climates, where heavy rains are now a frequent reality. Scientists predict that the only thing to come will be more warming make it worse.
Because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, storms can produce more rain and can have deadly effects. Pollutants, especially carbon dioxide and methane, warm the atmosphere. Instead of allowing heat to escape away from the Earth into space, capture it.
While climate change isn’t the cause of more storms, these storms are forming in an atmosphere that’s becoming warmer and wetter.
“Sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit holds twice as much water as 50 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Rodney Wynne, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Tampa Bay. “Warm air expands and cold air contracts. You can think of it as a balloon – as it warms, it expands, so it holds more moisture.
For every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) the atmosphere warms, it holds approximately 7% more moisture. According to NASA, the average global temperature has increased by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.9 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880.
“When a thunderstorm occurs, water vapor condenses into raindrops and falls back down. Brian Soden, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Miami, explained. Therefore, since these storms form in tropical areas that have a lot of moisture in them, the amount of rain increases.
Along Turkey’s mountainous and picturesque Black Sea coast, heavy rains have swollen rivers and damaged cities with floods and landslides.
At least 15 people were killed by floods in another mountainous area in southwest China.
“As the climate warms, we expect heavy rain events to become more common, which climate models strongly predict,” Soden added. “It’s no surprise to see these events happen, it’s what models have been predicting since day one.”
Climatologist and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Research, Gavin Schmidt, says the regions most affected by climate change are not the ones causing the greatest amount of global warming.
“Most of the emissions come from industrialized Western countries, and most of the impacts are in areas that lack good infrastructure, are not prepared for extreme weather, and don’t have the right ways to manage it,” Schmidt said. .
In the wake of last week’s floods, schools in New Delhi were forced to close on July 10 after heavy rains. He beat the capital of IndiaAt least 15 people died in landslides and floods. Farther north, the overflowing Beas River swept away vehicles as it flooded areas.
in Japan, heavy rain It hit the southwest causing flash floods and mudslides, killing two people and leaving at least six others missing. Local TV showed damaged houses in Fukuoka Prefecture and muddy water from the Yamakuni River threatening a bridge in Yabaki City.
In Ulster County, in New York’s Hudson Valley and in VermontSome said the flooding was the worst they had seen since the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
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