Cause and effect. Human-caused global warming is behind the deadly floods that hit Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Libya in early September, according to a scientific analysis by the World Weather Attribution Group.
Additionally, as for DANA, which killed five people in Spain earlier that month, scientists believe climate change “played a role.”
The study compares the current climate, with global temperatures already 1.2ºC above 1800 levels, which existed before this warming caused by greenhouse gases. In this comparison, heavy rain in Eastern Europe was 10 times more likely than in a balanced climate, and the African country was 50 times more likely to experience rainfall than without this warming, the scientists concluded.
This “meteorological monster”, named Daniel, claimed 17 lives in Greece, 7 in Turkey and 4 in Bulgaria. It rained very hard for four days in a row. The scientists’ analysis indicated that 40% more water fell “as a result of human activities that have warmed the planet”.
“Storm Daniel is absolutely unusual,” Ruben del Campo, spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), explained to elDiario.es in the middle of the episode. A review of scientists only confirmed this analysis and its link to human-caused planetary warming.
Constructions are in danger
For the early September DANA in Spain, these analysts face the problem that most of the torrential rainfall was concentrated in hours instead of days and in very localized areas, complicating the study. “These rains would be expected once in forty years,” they say, to illustrate how extraordinary they were. Because of this uncertainty, “we cannot fully attribute the intensity and likelihood of the episode to climate change.” But “we’re very confident that it played a role, because we didn’t find factors that offset the warming effect, and the time series of the data indicates an increase in rainfall.”
Although some Spanish political leaders, such as the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, the president of Andalusia, Juan Miguel Moreno Bonilla or the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijo, criticized AEMET, given that its forecasts were also. Alarm, this DANA claimed five lives in Spain.
In the case of Libya, the human losses are devastating. Authorities acknowledged more than 3,900 dead and more than 10,000 missing. “The magnitude of the event is far beyond the previous record,” the research team believes. Precipitation, which ended with the bursting of two failed dams – and deadly floods – was 50% more due to warming than in a pristine climate. “50% more rain fell” than without climate change.
In addition, the effect of the climate was compounded by the exposure of vulnerable communities to this viral episode: in Greece, much of the buildings and infrastructure were built in “areas at risk of flooding”. Reservoir dams across Libya were “in poor condition,” the World Weather attribution emphasized.
More than a million homes in Spain are located in areas at risk of flooding, as illustrated in this investigation by elDiario.es. They represent 4.3% of the housing stock. According to the documents of the hydrographic confederations, the sections in the risk zones in Spain are about 12,000 kilometers long.
Source: El Diario