Climate change is leading to a significant increase in intense slow moving showers. This became known from a study by Newcastle University and London Metropolitan University.
Scientists have studied how the climate affects rainfall across Europe – they have concluded that there will be a significant increase in intense slow-moving rainfall in the future. Scientists estimate that by the end of the century, these storms could become 14 times more frequent. Such events can lead to very large amounts of precipitation with devastating consequences.
The researchers also found that slowing the movement of storms leads to more rainfall that builds up on the ground, raising the risk of flash floods across Europe beyond what was expected based on previous research. The results of the calculations, published in Geophysical Research Letters, show that storms that cause intense rainfall can move more slowly with climate change, increasing the duration of exposure to these extreme events.
“With the latest advances in supercomputing power, we now have pan-European climate models that simulate the atmosphere in high detail like short-term weather forecasting models. These models have a grid step of approximately 2 km, which allows them to model storm systems much better, resulting in better display of extreme events, ”the researchers noted.
Scientists note that their findings should influence policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe. This will allow controlling future flood impacts, designing infrastructure systems and managing water resources.
Nowadays, slow intense rain showers are rare in Europe and rarely occur over parts of the Mediterranean. Accurate projections of future changes should lead to adaptation and mitigation of climate change.