Fiona in Nova Scotia, Daniel in Libya, tornado in China, heavy rainfall in India, heatwaves in Europe, flooding in Spain. Over the last few months, different climate hazards have taken place in different countries around the world. Scientists say climate change is most likely the reason impacting heavy rainfall and flooding.
In Libya, a catastrophic flooding induced by hurricane Daniel, led to as many as 10,000 deaths. In the first 11 days of September, eight devastating flooding events have unfolded on four continents. Before Mediterranean storm Daniel sent floodwaters surging through eastern Libya, severe rain inundated parts of central Greece, northwestern Turkey, southern Brazil, central and coastal Spain, southern China, Hong Kong and the southwestern U.S.
These are unseasonal and unrelated extreme weather events taking place around the world. Studies show that global warming is intensifying the planet’s water cycle. Warmer temperature means increased evaporation from the water bodies, which means more moisture in a warm atmosphere. As a result, when storms can unleash more intense precipitation and thus cause severe flooding.
Researchers have observed those changes over time as the world warms. Since 1901, global precipitation has increased at an average rate of 0.04 inches per decade, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the Sixth Assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the occurrence of extreme events is unprecedented in the observed record and will increase with increasing global warming,
Although each extreme weather condition in September had a different origin, it unleashed havoc on the people. The Mediterranean storm named Daniel caused heavy rain over central Greece and Libya. Meanwhile, Typhoon Haikui and its remnants lashed Hong Kong and southern China with record rain, waterlogging urban and rural areas, destroying roads and causing more than 100 landslides.
Torrential downpours caused flash flooding in central and coastal regions of Spain, northwest Turkey and thousands of miles away in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
The impact is such that people continue to suffer the aftermath of the climatic phenomenon, in form of loss of life, property, livelihood, exposure to diseases and more.