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Scientists Show Hurricane Harvey Rainfall Was Much Higher Due To Climate Change

by Countable | 12.14.17

What’s the story?

In the great debate over climate change, questions of causality are at the center. Can scientists prove that climate change created specific events, or made them worse than they would have been?

Until recently, studies attributing specific events to climate change were rare. Now two different studies looking at Hurricane Harvey have been able to clearly show that climate change increased the rainfall dramatically, and quantify exactly how much, reports the New York Times.

This changes the conversation dramatically.

A group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California found that, compared to models without the warmer temperatures of climate change present, current conditions increased rainfall during Hurricane Harvey by 19 - 38 percent.

Another group of global scientists known as World Weather Attribution, lead by Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (say that five times fast!) concluded that the Harvey rainfall was increased 15 percent due to global warming.

Both reports were presented at the American Geophysical Union, a global gathering of over 22,000 leading climate researchers and earth scientists being held in New Orleans, LA this week, according to the Washington Post.

Both groups say that their data points to extreme weather becoming more frequent as well as more extreme than any current government plans account for. This could have policy implications regarding disaster preparedness, the Federal Flood Insurance Program and more.

What do you think?

What should be done about this research? What is the role of federal and state government in response to this science?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia.jpg) / Creative Commons)


Written by Countable

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