Why Are Floods More Frequent in the UK?

Watching the news lately I’ve noticed that we are having a lot more floods in the UK and I was wondering why?  Whats going on?  Luckily for me where I live we do not have any severe floods but I’m not oblivious to the fact that I live on an island, whilst it’s bigger than islands in the Caribbean we are still surrounded by water.  A Tsunami, super hurricane, etc. could have devastating effects for the UK.  At present we are having floods that are having a huge impact in some areas and on the economy.

Whats going On?

Paul Williams, meteorologist at Reading University, explained: “Simple physics tells us that warmer air can hold more water vapour. The global warming that we have experienced so far has increased the atmosphere’s moisture storage capacity by about seven per cent. This is undisputed science and it clearly increases the potential for extreme rainfall and flooding.”

The Met Office has predicted since 2014 that Britain is in line for more heavy rain as a result of the world getting warmer, and that this signal may already be showing up in long-term rainfall records.


“There is evidence that heavy rainfall events may have become more frequent over time: what in the 1960s and 1970s might have been a one-in-125-day event is now more likely a one-in-85-day event,” the Met Office said.

“We found that global warming increased the likelihood of the heavy precipitation associated with a storm like Desmond. An event like this is now roughly 40 per cent more likely due to climate change than it was in the past, with an uncertainty range of five to 80 per cent,” said Friederike Otto of Oxford, a co-author of the study.

“The weather has changed, and we have changed it: get used to it. Those with more open minds are asking, ‘Is this the new normal?’ Unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’ – ‘normal weather’, unchanged over generations apart from random fluctuations, is a thing of the past.”

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