Global Warming Contributes to Extreme Weather, Heavy Rainfall

 

desert-rain

Rain in the desert near Kino. Source: Panoramio

 

Grab an umbrella and a raincoat. It’s looking like things are going to get very, very wet around here. According to researchers in a recent study published in Nature Climate Change, global warming has contributed to an increase in extreme weather conditions, including heavy rainfall and snowfall.

Interestingly, researchers found that rainfall  and snowfall  were increasing even in some traditionally arid regions, although this might not hold true for all regions.

The research was led by climate scientist Markus Donat from the University of New South Wales in Sidney, Australia. Donat and his team, defining extreme rainfall or snowfall as the maximum amount of extreme rainfall or snowfall observed in one day, compiled data from thousands of weather stations all across the globe.

Donat and his team, defining extreme rainfall or snowfall as the maximum amount of extreme rainfall or snowfall observed in one day, compiled decades of data from thousands of weather stations all across the globe. What they seemed to have found was that extreme precipitation and annual precipitation seemed to have increased up to 1%-2% per decade in typically arid regions including Australia, North Africa, and parts of Asia.

What does this mean for the rest of us? With more extreme weather patterns, many regions previously unaccustomed to heavy rainfall are either going to have to adapt or face the consequences. “It is probably a good idea to invest in infrastructure that helps in dealing with heavier precipitation, in particular if you are not yet used to those events,” says Donat.

Well, grab your raincoat. There’s going to be a lot of puddles to jump in very soon if we don’t figure out how to stop climate change from getting even worse.

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