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More rainfall expected as a result of global warming

Flood control strategies, water resource policy and land use plans are urgently needed

More rainfall expected as a result of global warming

Academia Sinica researchers have published a study that shows the risk of extreme rainfall due to global warming is substantially greater than estimated in current climate models and that the situation is even graver in Taiwan.
Professor Shaw Chen Liu, director of Academia Sinica’s Research Center for Environmental Changes, and his research team published their findings in the September issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
More heavy rain
The research paper states that for each degree Kelvin increase in global mean temperature, the intensity of rain increases by about 110 percent for the top 10 percent heaviest rain, and decreases by about 20 percent for the bottom 40 percent lightest rain.
The researchers found that the global average precipitation intensity increases by about 23 percent per Kelvin of temperature change.
This result is qualitatively consistent with a recent hypothesis that precipitation intensity would increase by more than the accepted 7 percent per Kelvin of water vapor temperature rise because of the additional latent heat released from the moisture.
The findings in the Taiwan team’s research show a far higher estimate than that obtained from an ensemble of 17 latest generation climate models.
The models indicate an increase in precipitation intensity of only about 2 percent per Kelvin of temperature change.
Based on the observations of the researchers, as torrential rainfall gets heavier and monsoons get lighter, there will be a sharp increase in the risk of floods and mudslides, as well as more severe and frequent droughts.
In a press release from Academia Sinica, Professor Liu points out that over the last 45 years, the global temperature has increased by about 0.7 Kelvin.
This implys that the top 10 percent area of precipitation intensity in Taiwan has increased by about 100 percent and the bottom 20 percent of light precipitation has decreased by about 50 percent.
\Since the global temperature is expected to increase by another 0.7 Kelvin in the next 25 years, another round of similar changes can be expected, he adds.
Predicting higher risk of floods and mudslides and worse droughts, Professor Liu suggests that adaptation strategies, such as flood control, water resource policy and land use plans, are urgently needed.


Updated : 2021-05-10 11:11 GMT+08:00