Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Late flood attribution

Remember in 2013 I posted about the floods in northern India?    OK, well I did.  Go have a look.

Anyway, receiving no attention whatsoever is a new paper looking at climate change attribution in relation to that flood.

Here's the abstract:
During 13–17 June 2013, heavy rainfall occurred in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand and led to one of the worst floods in history and massive landslides, resulting in more than 5000 casualties and a huge loss of property. In this study, meteorological and climatic conditions leading up to this rainfall event in 2013 and similar cases were analyzed for the period of 1979–2012. Attribution analysis was performed to identify the natural and anthropogenic influences on the climate anomalies using the historical single-forcing experiments in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. In addition, regional modeling experiments were carried out to quantify the role of the long-term climate trends in affecting the rainfall magnitude of the June 2013 event. It was found that (a) northern India has experienced increasingly large rainfall in June since the late 1980s, (b) the increase in rainfall appears to be associated with a tendency in the upper troposphere towards amplified short waves, and (c) the phasing of such amplified short waves is tied to increased loading of green-house gases and aerosols. In addition, a regional modeling diagnosis attributed 60–90 % of rainfall amounts in the June 2013 event to post-1980 climate trends.
It's an unfortunate thing that such attribution studies take some time to complete, and come out long after the event has faded from the public's memory.

But basically:  yes, it seems there is already good reason for seeing climate change as causing (or significantly worsening?) some disastrous and deadly floods.

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