Human-induced climate change likely behind Hurricane Harvey's ferocity

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-15 13:20:01|Editor: Chengcheng
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HOUSTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- "Human interference with the climate system" could be responsible for the unprecedented rainfall caused in the United States by Hurricane Harvey, according to new research.

A study by Mark Risser and Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley Labs suggests human-caused climate change tripled the chances of a huge storm like Harvey hitting Houston and increased the rain unleashed by Harvey by about 38 percent. Precipitation accumulation in the most affected areas likely increased by at least 18.8 percent.

Another study by researchers from the United States, Britain and the Netherlands found the heavy rains triggered by climate change 15 percent more intense than a storm from the early 20th century.

Texas' state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon told local media that scientists have predicted more frequent and more intense rain globally.

"The magnitude of the increase from place to place is going to be location-specific and storm-specific," he added. "I think what we need to do in policy is to recognize that there's a gradation of risk."

Harvey blew ashore on Aug. 25 as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, and damaging nearly 200,000 homes.