Rainfall Extremes, Floods Exacerbated by Climate Change Affect the World’s Regions
UN Photo/Logan Abassi
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According to the WMO, torrential monsoon rains affected nearly 41 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal through flooding and landslides.

In the US, Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented rainfall, which resulted in catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas and southeastern Louisiana.

Following the first flood early warning by the Afghanistan Meteorological Department (AMD) issued for the country’s south and southeast regions on 14 August 2017, a devastating flood occurred in Khost province the following day.

1 September 2017: Throughout the month of August, rainfall extremes caused widespread socio-economic impacts in Africa, Asia and North America. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Expert Team on Climate Impacts on Tropical Cyclones issued a statement on linkages between Hurricane Harvey and anthropogenic climate change.

According to the WMO, torrential monsoon rains affected nearly 41 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal through flooding and landslides. In Africa, torrential rains at the end of the month caused rivers to burst their banks in Nigeria, Niger and other countries. Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) witnessed disastrous landslides. Conversely, parts of South America and Europe have been suffering from droughts, with some southern European regions reaching near-record precipitation deficits. [WMO Press Release]

According to a statement by the WMO Expert Team on Climate Impacts on Tropical Cyclones, some aspects of Hurricane Harvey, including its intensity, associated rainfall rates and storm surge compounded by sea level rise, may have linkages to climate change.

In the US, Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented rainfall, which resulted in catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas and southeastern Louisiana. In its statement on possible linkages between Hurricane Harvey and anthropogenic climate change, the WMO Expert Team on Climate Impacts on Tropical Cyclones explains that, while “there is no clear evidence that climate change is making the occurrence of slowly moving land-falling hurricanes in the Houston region… more or less likely,” some aspects of the hurricane may have linkages to climate change. These include the rainfall rates associated with Harvey, the hurricane’s intensity and storm surge compounded by sea level rise. [WMO Expert Team on Climate Impacts on Tropical Cyclones Statement on Possible Linkages between Hurricane Harvey and Anthropogenic Climate Change]

Following the first flood early warning by the Afghanistan Meteorological Department (AMD) issued for the country’s south and southeast regions on 14 August 2017, a devastating flood occurred in Khost province the following day. The AMD’s increased early warning capacity is the result of the Afghanistan Early Warning Project, a joint effort between the WMO and the US Agency for International Development/Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). [WMO Press Release]

A publication titled, ‘Climate Change Profile of Pakistan,’ published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), addresses temperature and precipitation trends, projected sea level rise and disaster risk management (DRM) arrangements in light of catastrophic floods, droughts and cyclones that have plagued the country in recent years. The report also includes an overview of climate change impacts per sector, institutional and climate finance arrangements, and climate change adaptation technologies. [Climate Change Profile of Pakistan] [Publication Landing Page]

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