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Hurricane Harvey: Global Warming Boosted Rain by 15 Percent

Hurricane Harvey: Global Warming Boosted Rain by 15 Percent
People view the flooded highways in Houston on Aug. 27, 2017, as the city battles with Hurricane Harvey and resulting floods. (Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:56 PM

According to data from two different studies, global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall by at least 15 percent and tripled the likelihood of an event like that occurring. 

Scientists from both the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California came up with similar findings that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are absorbed by oceans, causing heat energy to be trapped and to add more fuel to hurricanes.

The approximately 1 degree Celsius of warming in the atmospheric temperature that scientists say has taken place in the last hundred years was expected to put 6 to 8 percent more moisture into Harvey than would have been there in 1950, but instead scientists now attribute 15 to 38 percent of the deluge on the temperature differences because of the increase in greenhouse gasses, The Washington Post reported.

The studies also predict the likelihood of catastrophic rainfall events like Hurricane Harvey has increased from every 2,400 years to every 800 years, or roughly tripled, because of global warming.

Findings from the two studies, which were presented Wednesday in New Orleans at the American Geophysical Union meeting, compared historical weather methods with simulation results.

The U.K. Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit also released a report this week linking climate change and extreme weather events.

“Two years’ worth of studies shows that climate change is affecting heatwaves, droughts and rainfall right now,” unit director Richard Black told The Independent.

Scientists also said a 2010 drought in Texas was made more likely by climate change and that rainfall during floods in Colorado in September 2013 was 30 percent heavier because of global warming.

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Global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey's rainfall by at least 15 percent and tripled the likelihood of an event like that occurring, according to data from two different studies.
hurricane harvey, global warming, rain, 15, percent
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2017-56-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:56 PM
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