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Climate Change Seen as Reason for Storm Desmond Extreme Flooding

Travelers Today       By    Kim Cabatuan

Updated: Dec 15, 2015 09:20 PM EST

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Climate change was partly attributed to the violent rain and flood by Storm Desmond which caused destruction in many parts of Scotland, Ireland and The Lake Disctrict.

About 341 millimetres of rain water gushed in Honister, Cumbria in a single day. There is a potential that this has become a new national record but data is yet to be verified until next month. About 60,000 household lost power and 5,000 homes were flooded during the storm.

Climate change increased the chances of Storm Desmond flooding the affected areas up to 40%, according to research made by experts from Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and Oxford University.

Dr Friederike Otto, an Oxford University researcher from the collegiate's Environmental Change Institute. 'Ten years ago we could never make a link to climate change with a specific weather event. Now we can do it in real time. A positive attribution for an extreme rainfall event like Desmond is still rare.'

Using a computing power of a thousand desktops combined, the team of researchers ran numerous simulations of Storm Desmond to see how much devastation it would cause on certain locations with and without global warming. They came up with 3 methodologies and all of which resulted to the same 40% increase in the flooding mentioned earlier. The research also revealed that there is a high chance for the devastating rain to occur again. The risk of extreme weather conditions moved from 'one every 100 years' to 'one every 70 years.'

Aside from global warming, the analysts took into consideration the vulnerability of the affected locations - especially with regards to the area's flood defence system.

Detailed climate model and maps enabled researchers to make a better analysis of the catastrophic rainfall. However, it is still difficult to conclude whether climate change is connected with the extreme rain and flooding.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
storm desmond, climate change, scotland, ireland, the lake district, flood, rain
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