WASHINGTON—Across the continental United States, massive, often-devastating precipitation events—the kind that climate scientists have long called “hundred-year storms”—could become three times more likely and 20 percent more severe by 2079, a new study projects.
That is what would happen in a scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at a rapid rate—what researchers call a high-warming scenario. Extreme rainfall events, the so-called hundred-year storms, would then be likely to occur once every 33 years.
The new study finds warming has a more profound effect on both the severity and frequency of extreme precipitation events than it does on common precipitation events. The research was published in AGU’s journal Earth’s Future, which publishes interdisciplinary research on the past, present and future of Earth and its inhabitants.
The findings have serious implications for how humans prepare for the future, according to the researchers.
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