Home News Science&Tech Recent floods in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands ‘almost certainly’ caused by climate change

Recent floods in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands ‘almost certainly’ caused by climate change

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The floods in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany this summer have been made possible by climate change. Humans have increased the risk of such floods by 20 to 80%. This is the conclusion of a joint study of 39 researchers from various European climate institutes and universities.

The researchers analysed historical precipitation data from Western Europe and used newly developed models to compare the current climate with that of more than a century ago, when global temperatures were still 1.2 degrees lower on average. “Climate change increases the risk of flooding, and also by the intensity of it’, and concluded, inter alia, Frank Kreienkamp of the German weather service.

Maarten van Aalst, affiliated with the University of Twente and involved in the research, blames the increased risk of flooding on the greenhouse gases. ‘They’re all over our atmosphere. We’re sure it’s because of our emissions. In this study, we linked the increase in greenhouse gases to the chances of weather extremes, which also caused these floods.’Because the air has become warmer over decades, more moisture can also be absorbed, after which it will rain more, van Aalst explains. ‘We also see that the circulation is different. We saw that the low-pressure area stuck for a very long time. We are now investigating how that is changing’, says Van Aalst. According to him, it is now important for the Netherlands to prepare further for such extreme weather conditions.

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