Tuesday May 28, 2024

‘Rossby waves’ may be causing Pak floods, Europe’s record drought

September 03, 2022

LONDON A naturally occurring phenomenon, like La Niña and El Niño, they may have been responsible for some recent extreme weather events, scientists say.

Extreme floods are devastating Pakistan, caused by a combination of heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers. While Pakistan is no stranger to deadly floods, this event is especially shocking with more than 1,100 people dead so far and many millions more affected.

This Northern Hemisphere summer has seen extreme weather event after extreme weather event, from record-breaking drought in Western Europe, the United States and China, to flooding in Japan and South Korea.

This begs the question of the extent climate change is to blame. In addition, if so, is this what we should expect from now on?The flooding in Pakistan is the latest in a sequence of exceptional disasters in the Northern Hemisphere.

Western Europe and central and eastern China have experienced record-breaking heatwaves and droughts leading to water restrictions. These heatwaves and droughts have also caused crop shortages, which are adding to the rising costs of food around the world.

China was plunged into an energy security crisis. In addition, Italy’s longest river is flowing at one tenth of its usual rate. These droughts and their significant impacts are forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.

Severe downpours have caused floods in places ranging from Dallas in the United States to Seoul in South Korea, which experienced its heaviest torrential rain in a century.Record-breaking heat extremes have also been recorded in Japan, the central US and in the UK, where temperatures exceeded 40 for the first time. It has also only been a few months since we saw temperatures reach 50 ahead of the monsoon rains in northern India and Pakistan.