Climate change contributed to the devastating flooding in Germany and Belgium last month, making the rare event as much as 9 times more likely. The analysis, released Monday by World Weather Attribution, “reinforce[s] the conclusions” of the U.N. report released earlier this month, Frank Kreienkamp, a climate scientist with the German Meteorological Service, said. At least 220 people died in those countries when two months’ worth of rain in two days turned rivers into violent torrents that actually limited the analysis because they destroyed so many measurement instruments. For every 1.8°F (1°C) the earth is heated, air can hold (and dump) 7% more moisture, causing more extreme rainfall.
“These floods have shown us that even developed countries are not safe from severe impacts of extreme weather that we have seen,” Friederike Otto, associate director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, told the AP. “This is an urgent global challenge and we need to step up to it. The science is clear and has been for years.” (AP, New York Times $, Axios, CNN, Deutsche Welle, E&E News, Bloomberg $, The Guardian, Reuters, France24, Politico Pro $; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)