I expect it will stop raining in maine sometime between now and when the snow flies. Hopefully in time for that huge forest of tomatoes we planted to ripen.
From the Grauniad:
Environment: Intense rainfall due to global warming could raise flood risk
- The Guardian,
- Friday August 8 2008
Climate scientists have issued a fresh warning over the future risk of flooding after research showed heavy rainstorms are likely to become even more intense than predicted.
Rainfall is expected to increase with global warming because the atmosphere can hold more water as it heats up, but the extent to which rainfall patterns will change in the future has been unclear.
Writing in the US journal Science, researchers warn regions that are already vulnerable to flooding will be hit hardest by rainstorms in the future, and that previous predictions may have underestimated how intense these rainstorms will be.
Researchers from Reading and Miami Universities used satellite data from 1987 to 2004 to see how natural changes in surface and air temperatures caused by El Niño weather events influenced rainfall over the tropics. They found a clear link, with countries experiencing far more rainfall as temperatures rose.
"When we first looked, we saw that the warm periods were associated with the periods of heaviest rainfall, but when we looked more carefully, we found the models underestimated what the satellite data showed by a factor of two to three," said Richard Allan, who led the study.
If other researchers are able to confirm the findings, it suggests areas already prone to flooding may experience far more problems as global temperatures rise.
Yesterday one of the government's chief science advisers, Robert Watson, said the UK must prepare for a 4C rise in average temperatures, despite Europe's declared goal of no more than a 2C rise.