Floods in Europe show the need to curb and adapt to emissions

Brussels (AP) — An unprecedented cloud of huge clouds in Germany and its neighbors that has caused death and destruction, just as the European Union has announced plans to spend billions of euros to contain climate change. Unleashed the storm.

Despite sufficient warnings, politicians and weather forecasters were shocked by the storm of precipitation that caused flash floods. Killed more than 150 people This week on the lush, rolling hills of Western Europe.

Climate scientists say the link between extreme weather and global warming is unmistakable, and the urgency of doing something about climate change is undeniable.

Scientists say it’s not clear yet whether climate change caused floods, but it will definitely exacerbate extreme weather events in the western United States and Canada, Siberia, and the Rhine region of Europe. I will.

“There is a clear link between the extreme rainfall and climate change,” said Wim Thiery, a professor at the University of Brussels, on Friday.

Stephen Ramstorff, a professor of physical oceanography at the University of Potsdam, referred to recent thermal records set in the United States and Canada, saying that “some are virtually impossible without global warming.” It was.

Sir David King, chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, put it all together, saying, “These are victims of the climate crisis. We just see these extreme weather events becoming more frequent.”

For Diego Samsom, Chief Cabinet Secretary of the European Commission behind this week’s massive proposal, billions to reduce block emissions of gas that cause global warming by 55% over the last decade. Spending the dollar to force the industry to make drastic reforms was a warning.

“People are being swept away in Germany … and also in Belgium and the Netherlands.” We are experiencing climate change, “said a conference call at a think tank at the European Policy Center.” Climate change a few years ago. To talk about, I had to point to a future or distant point on the planet. It’s happening now — here. “

And climate scientists point out two specific things that have contributed to this week’s disaster.

First, for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature rise, air can take in 7% more humidity. It can hold water longer and lead to drought, but when it releases it, it also leads to a high density and massive increase in rainfall.

Another decisive factor is that more and more rain falls on smaller parts of the world as storms tend to stay in one place for much longer than usual. Scientists say that global warming is also a contributing factor. A 6-mile high wind jet stream helps determine the weather in Europe and is fed by the temperature difference between the tropics and the Arctic.

However, as Europe warms (because of the current anomalous heat waves in Scandinavia), jet streams can weaken and meandering courses stop.

He said such a phenomenon was also seen in Canada and helped to cause a “heat dome” where temperatures rose to 50 ° C (122 ° F).

“And that’s causing the heavy rains we’ve seen in Western Europe,” he said.

Even if greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curtailed in the coming decades, the amount of carbon dioxide and other planetary heating gases already present in the atmosphere means that extreme weather events are more likely. ..

Experts say such a phenomenon would hurt areas that are not particularly prepared for difficulties.

Ramia Messari Becker, a professor of engineering at the University of Siegen, said:

Reinsurance giant Munich Re’s chief climate and geoscientist Ernst Rauf said non-adapters are at increased risk of loss of life and property.

“Today and yesterday or so events give us a hint that we need to be better at preparing for these types of events,” he said. “The event itself isn’t really unexpected, but some may be surprised by orders of magnitude.”


Frank Jordan of Berlin and David Keaton of Paris contributed to this report.


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