Climate Change Will Likely Increase UK Summer Floods

Jun 02, 2014 10:43 AM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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A group of U.K. researchers constructed a computer model to see how climate change will affect weather this summer, predicting that the season may see five times as many "extreme rainfall events," BBC News reported.

The study, which has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change, details how the researchers used the Met Office supercomputer to run weather simulations for nine months, modeling the southern half of the U.K.

"Most people would be familiar with this model," lead study author Lizzie Kendon told BBC News.

"It is the same one that is used for the weather forecasts on the BBC, so it is incredibly realistic and it represents these very intense convective-type storms that haven't been captured before."

Researchers have been working to see how climate change will affect devastating natural events like flash floods, which have damaged communities in the last decade.

Using both low- and high-resolution models for the study, the research group analyzed climate patterns in recent years as well as potential weather patterns that may hit England by the end of the century.

While they caution that their predictions are based on one model, the researchers say the findings indicate an increase in heavy rain for summers in the U.K.

"From this model experiment and consistent with our theoretical understanding, we have quite a bit of confidence in this result," said the researchers, as quoted by BBC News.

Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, who worked on the study, hopes other scientists will build on the research.

"The next steps are to see if these changes are consistent with observed trends in summer rainfall extremes and changes projected by climate models in other parts of the world," said Fowler, as quoted by BBC News.

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