Flooding in York, photo: Claudio Mazzetti
Due to rising temperatures caused by global warming, severe floods which normally occur every 5 to 25 years could happen more frequently and become more intense across the north of England, a new report indicates. Science Codex has a summary of the work of Dr Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, but this is the gist of how bad things could get:Some Areas Could See 60% Increase in Rainfall Intensity
Though Dr Fowler says that because it is often highly localized, predicting changes in extreme can be difficult, the research shows that the amount of rain falling in these extreme weather events could increase by up to 30% by 2080. All of the UK will see more intense rain, with Scotland and northern England seeing changes greater than 20%; in the winter in north west England some regions could see increases as high as 60%.
What our data shows is that floods are no longer going to be freak events. All 13 models we looked at predict increases in extreme rainfall in winter, autumn and spring by the 2080s although the percent increase varies.
This has major implications for flood risk management. We need to be looking now at where we build new homes, drainage systems and water storage in order to protect our homes and businesses from flooding in the future.
A 30-60% increase in rainfall intensity and more frequent severe flooding, a major implications for flood risk management? Now that’s understatement.