Flooding in 2100 Could Swamp Hurricane Harvey's

U.S. rainstorms will move more slowly and deliver up to 80 percent more rain by 2100, assuming business as usual, flooding larger areas than anyone had predicted.

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Giant thunderstorms with diameters from 4 to 100 km replenish the water table in the United States, but also lead to flash flooding and hail. Previous climate models did not have the resolution to predict precisely how global warming would change these storms. Thanks to better models and more computational resources, a team from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in Boulder, Colorado, developed a new model that was able to simulate 4 km storms. The model, described in this Scientific American piece and in more detail in this Nature Climate Change paper, showed that in a business-as-usual climate scenario in which global temperature rises more than 4 degrees C by 2100, these storms will grow larger and rain more heavily, dropping up to 80 percent more water on the southern United States.

Sources: Nature Climate Change doi 10.1038/s41558-017-0007-7
Scientific American story on the study. See also this News & Views article on the study in Nature Climate Change

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