Experts say the risk of the French flooding was increased by a factor of 1.8 as a result of climate change.
The recent floods in Paris were influenced by climate change – with global warming doubling the risk of the floods happening, a team of international experts have revealed in a new study.
The rainfall that moved across France at the end of May caused havoc in the capital city with the River Seine reaching record heights of 20 feet above its normal height and even causing the famous Louvre to shut its doors to rescue priceless paintings. As a result of the mass flooding, the French president François Hollande, accused the effects of climate change on the disaster, according to The Guardian.
According to the new study he wasn’t wrong. Climate scientists from the World Weather Attribution project undertook analysis of weather data and concluded that the risk of flooding that took place in Paris by climate change was increased by a factor of 1.8.
“Hollande was right to say climate change is playing a role but at the same time it’s important to say that this event could’ve happened without climate change,” states Prof Myles Allen from the University of Oxford and climate scientist involved in the study. “But it means what was a 1 in 200 year event is more like a 1 in 100-something year event. Is that a big change? In terms of weather events, that’s not nearly as big an increase in risk as we’ve seen in heatwave events, where we often come up with a factor of 10. But for precipitation this is kind of what we’re seeing.”
With climate change at the forefront of world politician’s minds, experts researching its effects are keen to get a quick turnaround on extreme weather events. This particular study is waiting to be published in a non-peer-reviewed journal in the hope to get the research out there quickly and that crucial decisions are made swiftly.
“The crucial thing is decisions… they get made in the aftermath of these events, when minds are focused on the impacts,” said Allen. “Getting this information out while people are still thinking about the event is useful. Also, it guards against the risk of over-attribution [overegging climate change’s role in an extreme weather event].”
With the effects of global warming and climate change increasing the planet’s temperature by 1 degree and further increases expected despite efforts from global leaders to cut emissions and fossil fuels, the race is on to research the true devastating effects climate change is having on our lives.