Scientists warn climate change will bring more severe storms

A new study warns that severe rainstorms are likely to become more common in coming years due to climate change, a statement that contrasts some observations made by other researchers and studies. According to this paper, which is in the pipeline for the journal Nature Climate Change, the peak temperature for intensive rainstorms is moving upward as global temperatures increase.

At the heart of the matter is some observational data seemingly showing an upward temperature limit at which severe rainstorm activity will reach a sort of threshold, spilling over it and eventually stabilizing. This upcoming study, though, shows such observations may be incorrect — as it turns out, this peak temperature is shifting upward to match the trend of an increasing global temperature.

That means, assuming the study is correct, that hope of severe storms stabilizing once the Earth reaches a certain max temperature may be unfounded. Instead, the coming years may bring an increasingly frequent number of severe rainstorms not unlike ones affecting parts of the world now, and the effects of these storms on the environment could be huge.

Speaking about this, the study's leader Guiling Wang said:

There are a lot of studies where people are trying to determine why the scaling rate is lower than 7 percent. Our study suggests that this is a wrong question to ask. If you want to relate rain intensity to temperature using the C-C relationship as a reference, you have to relate to the temperature at which the rain event occurs, not the mean temperature, which is the long term average.

SOURCE: EurekAlert