Jun 5, 2016

Europe's floods come as no surprise

Paris
France
by
Alex Kirby
,
Climate News Network
The Zouave statue in the Seine on 3 June: When the water hits his thighs the river is unnavigable. Photo: Siren-Com via Wikimedia Commons
The Zouave statue in the Seine on 3 June: When the water hits his thighs the river is unnavigable. Photo: Siren-Com via Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have warned that the extra moisture in warmer air will mean more intense rainfall, but floods still leave governments unprepared.

At least 18 people have lost their lives in central Europe as severe floods engulf the continent from France to Ukraine. In Paris the River Seine reached 6.1 metres (20 feet) above normal, and tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.

If the downpours and swollen rivers came as a surprise, they shouldn’t have done. Not only are there historical precedents for disastrous floods. There have been graphic recent warnings too, spelling out the growing likelihood that the warming climate will make bouts of flooding and other extreme weather more frequent