An article published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 2:107-122 by Fowler et al. (2021) entitled “Anthropogenic intensification of short-duration rainfall extremes” discusses short-duration (1–3 h) rainfall extremes that can cause serious damage to societies through rapidly developing (flash) flooding and are determined by complex, multifaceted processes that are altering as Earth’s climate warms. In this Review, Fowler et al. examine evidence from observational, theoretical and modelling studies for the intensification of these rainfall extremes, the drivers and the impact on flash flooding. Both short-duration and long-duration (>1 day) rainfall extremes are intensifying with warming at a rate consistent with the increase in atmospheric moisture (~7% K−1), while in some regions, increases in short-duration extreme rainfall intensities are stronger than expected from moisture increases alone. These stronger local increases are related to feedbacks in convective clouds, but their exact role is uncertain because of the very small scales involved. Future extreme rainfall intensification is also modulated by changes to temperature stratification and large-scale atmospheric circulation. The latter remains a major source of uncertainty. Intensification of short-duration extremes has likely increased the incidence of flash flooding at local scales, and this can further compound with an increase in storm spatial footprint to considerably increase total event rainfall. These findings call for urgent climate change adaptation measures to manage increasing flood risks.
- Paper published in Journal of Hydrology on “The influence of rainfall interception on the erosive power of raindrops under the birch tree”.
- Paper on possible triggering multiple climate tipping points published in the journal “Science”.
- The new WorldRiskReport 2022 published.
- Global Climate Risk Index 2021 published.
- International Conference “Transforming knowledge for just and sustainable futures”, 3-4 November, 2022, Paris, France.