Science Reporting

Torrential rain and extreme showers increased steadily between 1964 and 2013

A new study confirms the global increase in rainfall, specifically the most violent and torrential rains, between 1964 and 2013, an increase due to global warming. The new research published in Water Resources Research shows how extreme rainfall has increased in much of Europe, Canada, the Midwest and the north-eastern region of the United States, northern Australia, western Russia and parts of China.

This would have happened in the last fifty years, the period during which global warming accelerated, as reported by Simon Papalexiou, a climatologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, who conducted the study with co-author Alberto Montanari, professor of hydraulics and hydrology at the University of Bologna.

And they are not natural climatic variables, according to the scientist: “The probability of this happening is less than 0.3% according to the model assumptions used.” In addition, the data reports that between 2004 and 2013 there was a 7% increase in “extreme rainfall events” globally while in Europe, during this decade, these events would have increased by 8.6%, which underlines how much the phenomenon of increased rainfall involves even more markedly Europe.

The study could not take into account the regions of South America and Africa, which were excluded due to the lack of or inadequacy of data.

According to Papalexiou, the increase in rainfall is due to global warming, the latter causing more heat in the atmosphere which in turn leads to a greater formation of atmospheric water and therefore to rainfall.

In turn, torrential rains can produce floods and disasters that can seriously threaten public health, especially if these disasters occur in areas not supported by strong health networks. In addition, torrential rains can cause landslides, damage crops and collapse buildings and structures.