Climate change is affecting our water cycle, which refers to the way water moves about our planet. Wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier. However, we are experiencing more of our rain in the form of intense downpours, leading to a greater risk of floods. As global warming continues to accelerate sea level rise and extreme weather, our nation’s floodplains are expected to grow by approximately 45 percent by century’s end. Every year United States encounters heavy rains which nearly kill more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning. It is the most common (and among the most deadly) natural disaster in the United States. Torrential rains have brought destruction to every state and every county, and in many areas are getting worse. There are numerous reason that cause floods to happen:
● As the globe warms, flooding could become a more widespread problem
● Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, so the heaviest precipitation events could become heavier as air temperatures tick upward
● Melting glaciers can put pressure on the natural dams that corral meltwater
● Rain is not always the culprit when it comes to flooding. Storm surges related to hurricanes and other storms can lead to significant flooding, as can tsunamis that are sometimes caused by underwater earthquakes
Another point is that climate change make floods a tricky endeavor. Not only do a myriad of weather and human-related factors play into whether a flood occurs, but limited data on the floods of the past make it difficult to measure them against the climate-driven trends of floods today. However, as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) noted in its special report on extremes, it is increasingly clear that climate change “has detectably influenced” several of the water-related variables that contribute to floods, such as rainfall and snowmelt. Here some key factors of how atmosphere create impact on our climate change:
● A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. In fact, for every degree of warming, the atmosphere can hold around 7% more moisture
● More moisture means that more rainfall comes in short, intense downpours. This can increase the risk of flash flooding
● The extra heat in the atmosphere means there is more energy for weather systems that generate intense rainfall.
In addition, the frequency of our strongest storms is a trend expected to continue through this century. In the Atlantic basin, an 80 percent increase in the frequency of category 4 and 5 hurricanes (the most destructive) is expected over the next 80 years. And stronger storms bring greater rains. Indeed, 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall as a category four storm and soaked some 200,000 Houston homes and businesses with catastrophic floods, was the nation’s wettest storm in 70 years. Moreover, floods made up the greatest proportion of economic damages from extreme weather in Australia over the last decade, followed by tropical cyclones and droughts. In fact, if emissions continue unabated, floods could cost the Australian economy $40 billion per year by 2060.Climate scientists have been predicting for decades that heavy rain would get more common as the Earth heats up. At this point, scientists can measure what is happening in real time.
In conclusion, I can say that if humans keep burning enormous amounts of oil, gas and coal, the atmosphere will keep getting hotter, and heavy rain will get even more common and even more severe throughout this century. If humans dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade or so, that will help control heavy rain, especially later this century. We must prevent cutting trees to reduce the effect of climate change. As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. As the temperature is getting warmer and sea level is rising, we must come together and initiate effective steps to protect the world. `Let us save our people, Save our Earth.”