Dec 10, 2015

Storm Desmond rainfall partly due to climate change, scientists conclude

Honister Dr, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7PD
UK
by
John Vidal
,
Guardian
he scientists cautioned that risk is also affected by exposure and vulnerability, such as the quality of flood defences. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
he scientists cautioned that risk is also affected by exposure and vulnerability, such as the quality of flood defences. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Manmade climate change was partly responsible for Storm Desmond’s torrential rain which devastated parts of Scotland, the Lake District and Northern Ireland, scientists have concluded. The researchers at Oxford University and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) calculated that climate change had made the flooding event 40% more likely, with the estimate of the increased likelihood ranging between 5% and 80%. “The increase we found is small but robust,” said Dr Friederike Otto from the environmental change institute at Oxford University. “Ten years ago we could could never make a link to climate change with a specific weather event. Now we can do it in real time. A positive attribution for an extreme rainfall event like Desmond is still rare.”