Increases in extreme rainfall linked to global warming

Feb 01, 2013

(Phys.org)—A worldwide review of global rainfall data led by the University of Adelaide has found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise.

In the most comprehensive review of changes to extreme rainfall ever undertaken, researchers evaluated the association between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperatures at more than 8000 weather gauging stations around the world.

Lead author Dr Seth Westra said, "The results are that rainfall extremes are increasing on average globally. They show that there is a 7% increase in extreme rainfall intensity for every degree increase in global .

"Assuming an increase in global average temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, this could mean very substantial increases in rainfall intensity as a result of ."

Dr Westra, a Senior Lecturer with the University of Adelaide's School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering" and member of the Environment Institute, said trends in rainfall extremes were examined over the period from 1900 to 2009 to determine whether they were becoming more intense or occurring more frequently.

"The results show that rainfall extremes were increasing over this period, and appear to be linked to the increase in of nearly a degree which also took place over this time.

"If events continue to intensify, we can expect to see floods occurring more frequently around the world," Dr Westra said.

The strongest increases occurred in the , although some level of increase seems to be taking place at the majority of weather gauging stations.

Dr Westra said, "Most of these tropical countries are very poor and thus not well placed to adapt to the increased risk of flooding, which puts them in a larger threat of devastation."

This work is being published in the Journal of Climate and can be seen online.

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User comments : 20

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Psiotic
1.8 / 5 (24) Feb 01, 2013
Still calling this Global Warming? It would seem that the populace (humanity) has a better grasp of the global weather CHANGE, than the American Meteorological Society appears to have, at least in calling it what it is. "Global Warming" has become an industrial tag, for a money making machine that runs off of fear mongering and disinformation. Simplistically, and logically, it implies only warming to be the "culprit". Warming does not explain, even with jet-stream and ocean currents in mind, the "micro ice ages" that most continents are experiencing.

We are seeing extremes at BOTH ends of the temperature spectrum (and everywhere in between two infinitely possible points), hence "Change" being a more logical and applicable noun (or verb, depending on your own perception of the context).

*My humble opinion.
Maggnus
3.1 / 5 (15) Feb 01, 2013
It would seem Psiotic that yu have spent very little time looking at the evidence of global WARMING, which is driving significant CHANGE in the global atmoshere before you arrived at your "humble opinion".
antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (12) Feb 01, 2013
which is driving significant CHANGE in the global atmoshere before you arrived at your "humble opinion".

Agreed. Some opinions are way more humble than others. And some are so humble that they can only be humbled by the opinions of all others.
schwarz
3.5 / 5 (13) Feb 01, 2013
""Global Warming" has become an industrial tag, for a money making machine that runs off of fear mongering and disinformation."

Psiotic, do you even know where the University of Adelaide is? Here's a hint: it's in Adelaide. in Australia. In the corner of Australia that gets the drought and the deluge at the same time.
Howhot
2.3 / 5 (9) Feb 01, 2013
Global warming; what a sad state in human over development.
Botopfbber
2.5 / 5 (16) Feb 01, 2013
to psiotic: Dude we didnt call it Global Warming for what 40 years because that was called a lie, if you want to call it change then I guess you can but warming is also a change. It's the same thing Big Oil messed up this world seeking profit, so I have a question for you... can't you see that?
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (16) Feb 02, 2013
Wow, their study confirms my model, of course, my observations have for years... Of course, realistically, the proper reaction is "Well, duh."
Psyotic has a point, it should be called something else. Warming is a secondary, but measurable effect.
Imagine the Earth, a system composed of land-geology, vegetation, water with temp. gradients (ocean is densest at 4 C), and ice. If you add heat, (OK traditionalists) or if you add greenhouse gasses, the temp. is NOT the most dramatic thing to change. What I will call for simplicity "non-equilibrium heat" will go to evaporation (condensation), melting of ice, changing temp. gradients and wind patterns and other "easier" transitions and changes than raising the Earth's temp..
Wiki says the Earth's temp has increased about .75 K since industrialization (OK, what number do you WANT to use?). But glaciers have melted, prevailing currents have changed (Beiring Straight), and of course more precipitation...in some places, in others drought.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (17) Feb 02, 2013
@Botopfbber-spot on! I feel your frustration. 20 years ago, no one mentioned the glaciers melting, etc. either.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (9) Feb 02, 2013
"20 years ago, no one mentioned the glaciers melting, etc. either." - AlchemisTard

Climate Change 1958: The Bell Telephone Science Hour

http://www.youtub...index=58
Neal Asher
1.6 / 5 (20) Feb 02, 2013
Increase in rainfall linked to global warming, decrease in rainfall linked to global warming, snow in the Sahara linked to global warming, rain of frogs linked to global warming ... ad nauseum.
VendicarE
4 / 5 (8) Feb 02, 2013
Perturbation of a chaotic system produces effects at all scales of length and time.

It is the nature of chaotic systems.

Nothing less than systemic change is to be expected.
The Alchemist
1.6 / 5 (16) Feb 02, 2013
@Vendicar the fifth banned generation:
Allow me to congratulate you on what you feel is a well earned victory over 'The Alchemist.'
(Theme of Jeopardy plays.)
That's enough of that, you should know by now I don't choose my obviously quantifiably facts without some reason: That reason is is the early '90's was when measurable evidence of glacial retreat became evident-or at least popular.
Of course the second reason is to get ankle-biters to compromise themselves. I note you didn't criticize my good stuff, just the non-qualified stuff.
But for you I have developed...
THE ALCHEMIST CHALLENGE
You have seen I have given a good shot a demonstrating that the Earth is relatively insensitive to CO2 changes.
Here is my challenge to you: Quantify for posterity how much heat must be added to the Earth system to incure the same effect as adding CO2.
Pause.
What's that sound? It's the sound of Vendi slinking away to another page where he can bully others.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (10) Feb 02, 2013
Heating from below (Greenhouse effect), and heating from above will produce differing results, so if you are looking for an exact replication you won't find it.

"Quantify for posterity how much heat must be added to the Earth system to incure the same effect as adding CO2." - Alchemist

However Science has provided a good first order answer....

http://news.softp...g-2.jpg/

http://www.skepti...nced.htm

See the section on Section "Climate Sensitivity"

Do you have any other questions?

The Alchemist
1.6 / 5 (14) Feb 03, 2013
@Vendi-#2's headline seems to tell the story, and end discussion:
Increasing CO2 has little to no effect
"While major green house gas H2O substantially warms the Earth, minor green house gases such as CO2 have little effect.... The 6-fold increase in hydrocarbon use since 1940 has had no noticeable effect on atmospheric temperature ... " (Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide)


Link one does not discuss variations in CO2, or even H2O, which is worse because it varies w/temp..
Link two has greek, but otherwise uses a linear model, inappropriately, due to concentration. In fact I used a similar expression in my own "proof." The exeption is, I used it appropriately-not blindly plugging it in.
That is why I hate links. Anybody can "google" a "respectable" source saying something they want said.
I respectfully disagree with your statement that there is no comparison: That's the entire point of CO2-driven GW isn't it? That CO2 causes a warming effect?
VendicarE
2.4 / 5 (5) Feb 03, 2013
The AlchemisTard misses several headlines.

The first asks the question...

"How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?"

The second - that he quotes from is...

"The Skeptics argument..."

"Vendi-#2's headline seems to tell the story, and end discussion" - AlchemisTard

The third title that he omits is this one...

"What the science says..."

Further, he omits the scientific argument.

Why the dishonesty Alchemist?

The Alchemist
1.5 / 5 (15) Feb 03, 2013
Increase in rainfall linked to global warming, decrease in rainfall linked to global warming, snow in the Sahara linked to global warming, rain of frogs linked to global warming ... ad nauseum.

Neal, yes, I'm sorry, it sounds like a paradox. But heat both allows more water to evaporate, but also increaces air's ability to hold it.
The Alchemist
1.5 / 5 (17) Feb 03, 2013
@Vendi-Dishonesty? I filled up the text box & couldn't cover everything. This what I get for being polite. I will rest on the headline from link two. You lose.
I am sorry your links failed you, I am sorry the header destroyed the rest of the arguement, even though the rest was spurrious and simplistic-as other readers can judge for themselves.
You are, again, unworthy of this reader.
VendicarE
2.6 / 5 (7) Feb 03, 2013
So you decided to fill the box with nonsense Denialism rather than the science posted below it.

"I filled up the text box & couldn't cover everything. " - AlchemisTard

Your motivation for doing so, and then misrepresenting that denialism as the core content of the article was????

The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (14) Feb 04, 2013
Still a better question would be:
Why would anyone guide a community to websites that are pro-GW, but use models that an apt high-school senior would look at and say, with innocent confusion, "That's not right!"
Or intelligent Anti-AGWs can simpy and easily discredit and use as fodder?
antialias_physorg
2.9 / 5 (8) Feb 04, 2013
with innocent confusion, "That's not right!"

Because there's no way that a high school senior (and be he ever so apt) understands the model. If you think you can then you're just deluding yourself.