The earth’s lower atmosphere is becoming warmer and moister as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. This gives more energy to storms and causes certain extreme weather events. Heatwaves and scorching days, heavy rainfall, and snowfall are becoming more common these days.
Floods and climate change go hand in hand. Floods are caused by extreme weather patterns caused by global climate change. The risk of flood is increased by changes in land covers such as removing trees and plants and climate change. Intense precipitation, close repetition of precipitation, longer duration or a combination of these.
According to scientists, as the climate keeps on changing, more often, floods will occur. It is difficult to make a direct link between an extreme individual event and climate change. Humans need to prepare to face more intense and more frequent extreme hydro-meteorological events due to climate change, says Pascal Peduzzi, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Resource Information Database in Geneva.
IPCC has noted that climate change “has detectably influenced” many factors that contribute to floods, including rainfall and snowmelt. With higher temperatures, more energy can be seen in the earth’s system. Higher temperature and high ocean water increases the possibility of evaporation and, therefore, cloud formation. More moisture content can be held by air at a higher temperature. This can lead to an increase in precipitation intensity, duration and frequency. There is an increase of about 7% of water vapor for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature.
As temperatures are warmer, more intended rains are there, bringing more floods even if the number of storms hitting shores doesn’t change. When winters are more generous and wetter, the ground becomes more saturated so that any rainfall will give a greater chance of flooding. There are four types of floods a flash floods, urban, river, and flooding.
It is already projected that the sea level will rise and due to climate change. Because of this, lower elevation areas could find themselves underwater in future areas. It is important to note that stronger storms bring more rain. One of the examples would be Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which affected 200,000 homes in Houston. It was America’s wettest storm in almost 70 years. Experts say that climate change made this hurricane worst. In some areas, climate change has been related to lower rains.
IPPC predicts that seas will rise by 1 to more than 4 feet above 2000 levels by the end of the century. At higher altitudes, the temperature rises faster than the equator. Between mid-latitude and polar temperatures, it results in a smaller temperature gradient, affecting the jet stream. Researchers say the North Atlantic region will have a potential higher frequency of extreme hydro-meteorological events. These will include prolonged drought in summer or heavy storms in winter.
Extreme floods will continue to be concentrated in regions where humans have built on floodplains or low-lying coastal areas. As global warming increases, more extreme weather events are likely to occur. Risk will increase beyond the risk years known today. More extreme floods will appear and will happen in towns and cities where flooding has already occurred. No longer will there be once-in-a-lifetime risks, but the risk will be more frequent.
Now humans are living in a world where 1.1oC of warming is there. These record floods and temperatures are not uncommon, they are the beginning of new norms, and the new records will continue to be exceeded, year after year. Every government entity at all levels needs to be prepared to face more extreme weather events as the climate changes at an increasing pace.
Effects of floods –
- The frequent occurrence of floods would mean shutting down whole cities, destroying homes, and causing deaths; floods have other impacts.
- Due to floods, drinking water can be contaminated, and with the shortage of water due to climate change situation will become worse.
- It can also cause hazards such as spills of chemicals or other hazardous materials and disease-carrying animals.
- It can expose people to water-borne illnesses and infections.
The cities most affected by flood –
According to a comprehensive analysis by leading climate scientists, the cities that will be affected by coastal flooding are located in Asia in the coming decades. The port of China and India are venerable. There have four reasons for the threat as sighted by researchers at the OECD, climate risk modeling firm RMS and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. The reasons are:
- The deepening climate emergency.
- Rising populations.
- The gradual cave-ins of land.
- The migration of people from the countryside to urban areas.
Tianjin, China – It is the manufacturing center and most important of Northern China. The city straddles the Hai River near the inlet of the Yellow Sea. Much of the city is less than 3.5 meters above sea level and some less than 2 meters. For Northern China, the Hai River works as a significant outlet. For a long, this city has had to manage the drainage carefully. Most of the heavy industries are found there.
Shanghai, China – It is one of the heavily populated cities, financial capital, and the countries most important industrial hub. It has one of the most significant seaports on earth and is the critical export center. Most of the city juts into the East China Sea on a wedge-shaped peninsula. Yangtze River is in the north and the bay of Hangzhou to the south. That peninsula is a level plain that averages 3 to 5 meters above sea level.
Guangzhou, China – It is one of China’s most important trading cities and is densely populated. In recent years it has been trying to be a tech hub. The city lies about 145 km north of the South China Sea at the massive Pearl River Delta head.
Bangkok, Thailand – It is the main capital port of Thailand and also the biggest city. The city is a cultural and commercial sector of the country. The city lies within the Chao Phraya River Delta, about 40 km north of the Gulf of Thailand.
Haiphong, Vietnam – from the Gulf of Tokin, is located 16 km away from the Red River Delta. For foreign companies, it has become a tech and manufacturing hub.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – By population, it is the largest city in Vietnam. The city lies about 50 km up the Saigon River from the South China Sea to the Mekong River Delta.
Dhaka, Bangladesh – It is the capital of Bangladesh and a populous city. The city lies above the confluence of two major rivers and is bounded by a broad level plain on all sides. It has lots of industries.
Yangon, Myanmar – It is the largest city and the commercial center in Myanmar. The city lies a ridge on the east bank of the Yangon River, surrounded by flood plain and delta.
Kolkata, India – India’s 7th largest city and is known for its grand architectural monuments. The city is located on the low bank of the Hooghly river, and it is 100 km North of the Bay of Bengal.
Mumbai, India – It is India’s largest city and is the most densely populated urban city. The city is the financial capital and the main commercial center. It lies on a peninsula.