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Global warming tripled Harvey's chances

14 Décembre 2017

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria battered the U.S. Gulf Coast and Caribbean earlier this year, bringing widespread flooding and wind damage.

Before the storm made landfall in August, some experts warned Harvey could be the strongest hurricane to hit the USA mainland in over a decade.

The other found that human-caused climate change probably bumped up the rainfall by at least 18 percent. The ERL paper finds climate change made the record three-day rainfall that fell over Houston during Hurricane Harvey roughly three times more likely and 15 percent more intense than a similar storm in the early 1900s.

But only recently, in an effort to counter misinformation, have researchers moved to so quickly link an unprecedented event to climate change, including an effort by a group of scientists known as World Weather Attribution, of which Van der Weil is a part. Climate change, caused by increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, is raising temperatures globally.

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Hurricane Harvey, the historic behemoth that killed dozens and drenched Texas in rain, was made far worse by climate change, scientists said in two separate studies released Wednesday.

"Did climate change make this event more likely than in the past?"

Overall, the chances of seeing a rainfall event as intense as Harvey have roughly tripled - somewhere between 1.5 and five times more likely - since the 1900s and the intensity of such an event has increased between 8 percent and 19 percent, according to the new study by researchers with World Weather Attribution, an global coalition of scientists that objectively and quantitatively assesses the possible role of climate change in individual extreme weather events.

But a co-author of one of the new studies notes the degree to which climate change affects extreme precipitation is worse than expected. An worldwide team used computer simulations and decades of past observations to estimate the odds for the record rainfall that came with Harvey over a period of three days in August with and without global warming.

Global warming tripled Harvey's chances