Scotland has 72 percent more rain than in past years

      Home » Earth changes » Scotland has 72 percent more rain than in past years

Scotland has 72 percent more rain than in past years

Global warming is having some unexpected side effects, such as the massive increase in rainfall in Scotland and places in England. The Scots are growing webbed feet to cope.

RAINSTORMS have dramatically increased in intensity over Scotland because of climate change over the past 40 years, according to researchers.

Experts predict people living near rivers will experience worsening flooding as a result of a continuing trend which has seen extreme rainfall double over parts of the UK since the 1960s.

The east of Scotland has been particularly badly hit, with the worst storms during the 1990s bringing an average of 72 per cent more rain than those in the three previous decades. The new levels equate to close to a foot of water over ten days.

The research, due to be presented to the British Association Festival of Science in Norwich this week, was revealed as the president of the association, Frances Cairncross, warned in her opening address that more had to be done to prepare for the effects of global warming.

She said the emphasis had been on preventing the emission of greenhouse gases, but it was a mistake not to look at ways of dealing with the changes already certain to happen - for example, by constructing flood defences and possibly banning new buildings close to sea level.

Dr Hayley Fowler, a research fellow at Newcastle University, said: "

The size of extreme rainfall events has increased two-fold over parts of the UK since the 1960s and intensities previously experienced every 25 years now occur every six years.

"There has also been a change in the timing of extreme rainfall; most now occurs in autumn months, with implications for flood risk-management."

She added that global warming was the most likely reason for the increase in storms and the pattern would continue.

Scotland as a whole saw average rainfall of more than 200mm during the worst ten days of the year in the 1990s, comparable to the 208mm average in Mumbai.

The east of Scotland was even worse hit. From 1960 to 1990, the average storm brought 159mm of rain, but from 1991-2000 this rose by 72 per cent to 274mm.

Scientists say increased sea temperatures in the Atlantic mean more water evaporates to become clouds.

Asked about the significance of the figures, Dr Fowler said: "Five million people, 10 per cent of the population in the UK, live within the floodplain. They can expect to be flooded with increasing regularity. Insurance companies want to withdraw flood cover for these properties."

Ms Cairncross, who was giving the association's presidential address 35 years after her father, Sir Alec Cairncross, did so, said steps to prepare the world for the effects of global warming were just as important as the attempts to "mitigate" or reduce the size of the change.

"Adaptation policies have had far less attention than mitigation, and that is a mistake," she said. "We need to think now about policies that prepare for a hotter, drier world, especially in poorer countries. That may involve developing new crops, constructing flood defences, setting different building regulations, or banning building close to sea level."

Ms Cairncross also criticised the "ineffectual" nature of the Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and said effective action meant "persuading this generation to accept sacrifices on behalf of posterity".
By netchicken: posted on 5-9-2006

Scotland has 72 percent more rain than in past years | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy