Scary study: Century floods may become annual

2023-10-03 22:34:00, Kuriozitete CNA

Scary study: Century floods may become annual

Recently, we have started to use the term "century floods" more and more often, meaning that they happen almost every 100 years. But get ready, because you will hear this word more and more often. Because according to a study by the University of Alabama in the US, recently published in "Earth's Future", what were once very rare events, occurring on average once every 100 years, will become more and more frequent, to the point that they have a ten-year or even annual frequency.

Fewer beaches, more flooding

Century floods are called such because each year they have a 1 percent probability of occurring (calculated on the basis of historical data), and therefore occur on average once a century. Of course, this does not mean that they cannot occur several times in a few years, or not appear for more than 100 years.

The important thing is that these are extreme and theoretically very rare events, for which you can prepare in advance. The problem is that with the global warming of our planet, the sea level is rising, "eating" up to 1 meter of beach every year, and therefore bringing homes and other infrastructure closer to the water, making them more unprotected.

The study analyzed the future of these areas in two different scenarios: in the first, greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated at current levels, while in the second they peak in 2040, and then begin to decline.

Preventive responses

The bad news is that there is not much difference between the two scenarios: in both cases, the floods of the century will be more and more frequent in all areas subjected to the simulation. There are 300 of them worldwide. As of 2050, coastal areas across the planet may begin to experience a "100-year" flood every 10 to 15 years, and by the end of this century the same areas will experience a (once 100-year) flood ) on average once a year.

The fact that such events will escalate even if we manage to slow down or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere tells us that the situation is currently irreparable: our response must be preventive, and this prompts us to rethink urban planning. of the most vulnerable areas, considering that they are at risk of being damaged by major floods that may occur every year rather than every 100 years./  Translated and adapted by CNA

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