Climate change has taken many tolls on our environment but now, according to a study by Japanese researchers, it will be responsible for flooding in many rivers around the world including the Ganges, the Nile and the Amazon.
While the findings are not pleasant, they will help the countries prepare for floods that could potentially kill thousands of people, displace residents and result in, overall, billions of dollars in damage. According to the researchers, who published their study in the journal Nature Climate Change, governments can build flood barriers, flood plains, plant more flood-resistant crops and take other measures that will minimize destruction. The regions that will see the “large increase” in flood frequency will be south-east Asia, central Africa and many parts of South America.
In fact, the researchers have reviewed the fate of the 29 rivers they looked at in details, including: the Yangtze, Mekong and Ganges in Asia, the Niger, the Congo and the Nile in Africa, the Amazon and the Parana in Latin America and the Rhine in Europe. That said, some regions would fine less flooding, including the Mississippi in the United States, the Euphrates in the Middle East and the Danube in Europe.
The correlation between climate change and national disasters is nothing new, as scientists believe that the increasing number of national disasters is directly associated with climate change. What’s more, the scientists with The Union of Concerned Scientists have shared an informative breakdown on the correlation between the winter storm and the planet’s changing climate. And their verdict, is clear:
NASA and NOAA plus research centers around the world track the global average temperature, and all conclude that Earth is warming. In fact, the past decade has been found to be the hottest since scientists started recording reliable data in the 1880s. These rising temperatures are caused primarily by an increase of heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere created when we burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity, drive our cars, and fuel our businesses. Hotter air around the globe causes more water evaporation, which fuels heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain and snow storms.
At the same time, because less of a region’s precipitation is falling in light storms and more of it in heavy storms, the risks of drought and wildfire are also greater. Ironically, higher air temperatures tend to produce intense drought periods punctuated by heavy floods, often in the same region.
These kinds of disasters may become a normal pattern in our everyday weather as levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continue to rise.