Global RiskNews Briefs

Europe’s extreme rains made more likely by humans

The floods in Germany, Belgium, and other parts of Europe that killed at least 200 people were made more likely by climate change, according to scientists. Researchers say that global heating made rainfall events such as those in July up to nine times more likely in Western Europe. Further statistics show that downpours in the region are 3-19% more intense due to human-induced warming. The dramatic flooding was a shock to weather forecasters and local authorities as houses, motorways, and railway lines were destroyed in the rushing water.

The severe flooding was caused by intense rainfall over a period of just 1-2 days as well as local hydrological factors such as infrastructure and land cover. The World Weather Attribution group investigated the impact of climate change in the event, focusing on the heavy rainfall that caused the floods. The rainfall data showed that in the Meuse region of Belgium and the areas surrounding the Ahr and Erft rivers in Germany saw downpours of 90mm of rain in just a single day.

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