The “greatest” catastrophe in world history is coming to California. It’s not an earthquake.

A ‘mega-drought’ may now be a major weather concern across the West, among constant threats. Forest fire When earthquakeBut new research warns that another crisis is looming over California: the ‘Great Flood’.

Climate change is increasing the risk of future floods that could submerge multiple cities and displace millions across California, according to a new study released Friday.

Extreme month-long storms could bring hundreds of miles of rain to several feet in excess of 100 inches in California, it said. Similarly, relentless storms have occurred in the past before the region was inhabited by tens of millions of people.

Now, for every degree of global warming, the likelihood and magnitude of the next major flood rises dramatically, says the study.

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In future scenarios of flooding on a hotter planet, “the storm series will be bigger in almost every respect,” says Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist and co-author of the study. Mr. news release“There is a lot of rain in general, with heavy hourly precipitation and strong winds.”

Satellite imagery provided by DigitalGlobe on Thursday, February 28, 2019 shows the Russian River flooding Guerneville, California.

Satellite imagery provided by DigitalGlobe on Thursday, February 28, 2019 shows the Russian River flooding Guerneville, California.

Climate change is a factor in the great floods

In fact, the study found that climate change doubles the likelihood of such catastrophic flooding.

Swain said California has experienced such major floods across the state every century or two for the past few thousand years, and the current risk of such an event is vastly underestimated. said there is.

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Long before climate change, the Great California Flood of 1862 was 300 miles long and 60 miles wide. According to the study, similar floods displaced 5 to 10 million people, blocked the state’s major highways for perhaps weeks to months, had a major economic impact, and affected major cities and towns in the Central Valley. Part of Los Angeles will be submerged.

The study is an extension of the 2010 “arcstorm scenario,” which is named after an atmospheric river that fosters flooding and is one of the biblical proportions. This is the first part of a plan to revisit that scenario, known as Arcstorm 2.0.

California Floods Become a Trillion Dollar Disaster

Floods like today’s are estimated to be a $1 trillion disaster, according to UCLA.

“Stockton, Fresno and Los Angeles would be submerged even with today’s massive reservoirs, levees and diversions. Estimated to be one of the largest trillion dollar disasters in world history.” according to the statement.

With droughts and wildfires getting so much attention, people in California may be losing track of extreme flooding, Swain said in a release. It’s possible, but years go by without news of major floods, and people forget about it,” he said.

According to UCLA, researchers used new high-resolution weather models and existing climate models to compare two extreme scenarios.

Both involve a series of storms generated over a month by atmospheric rivers.

What are atmospheric rivers?

Atmospheric rivers are ribbons of water vapor that stretch thousands of miles from the tropics to the western United States. At 250 to 375 miles wide, it fuels heavy rains and snowstorms that can cause flooding along the West Coast.

While beneficial for water supplies, such events can wreak havoc on travel, trigger deadly landslides and cause catastrophic damage to life and property, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. I’m here.

Studies show that climate change is making atmospheric rivers warmer, more violent, and more frequent.

Friday study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. A ‘megaflood’ could devastate California, says new study