The worst is over? When ever. According to a recent study carried out by the University of Reading and published in the pages of the well-known scientific journal “Environmental Research Letters”, in the future we will have to expect worsening floods and droughts as a result of continuous and rapid global warming. How to prepare?
Prof. Richard Allan, lecturer in climate science at the University of Reading and author of the study, is certain: Climate change is intensifying the world‘s water cycle (the flows of water through the earth’s atmosphere, through the surface and subsurface) leading to increasingly extreme wet and dry periods.
To arrive at this conclusion, the professor used real-world data from 1950 to the present, measuring rainfall and evaporation and then comparing them with sophisticated computer simulations used to predict future climate change up to 2100.
“If the world were to continue at its current rate of warmingby the end of this century the difference between precipitation and evaporation in the wettest and driest times of the year will increase by 20% in some regions”Allan explained.
“This growing contrast can therefore lead to serious consequencessuch as increasingly intense flooding during periods of rain and rapidly developing drought as periods of extreme heat take hold.”he added.
“It may seem strange the presence of more extreme periods of drought and humidity as the climate warmsbut this happens because a warmer atmosphere is an atmosphere that attracts more water: it can in fact deprive the soil of a given region of its moisture and then discharge these extra liquids as heavy rains during storms and monsoons, effectively increasing the contrast of the weather between regions and between different periods of the year”continued the author.
As our greenhouse gas emissions continue to warm the planet, there will be greater swings between drought conditions and heavy rainfall which will become more and more serious over time. On the other hand, this year we have also witnessed serious floods in Italy, as well as in Japan, China, South Korea and India, causing deaths, damage and general disruptions.
A change in climatic conditions that gave its worst in the month of July, literally lashing our country between tornadoes and hail in Northern Italy and extreme heat waves in the South.