Devastating floods in Nigeria were 80 times more likely due to the climate crisis | climate crisis

Heavy rains behind the recent devastating floods in NigeriaNiger and Chad was 80 times more likely due to the climate crisis, according to a study.

The find is the latest clear example of the severe impacts than global warming it is already impacting communities, even with only a 1°C increase in global temperature to date. It adds pressure on the nations of the world at the UN Cop27 climate summit in Egypt to take meaningful action to protect and compensate affected countries.

the floods that hit between June and November they were among the deadliest recorded in the region. Hundreds of people died, 1.5 million were displaced and more than 500,000 hectares of farmland were damaged.

The study, carried out by an international team of climatologists as part of the World Weather Attribution (WWA), used weather data and computer models to compare the probability of heavy rainfall in today’s hot world versus a world without global warming. They found that such rain would have been extremely rare without human-caused warming, but is now expected to occur once every decade.

A critical issue for success at Cop27 is establish funds for “loss and damage” – compensation to rebuild after the inevitable climate catastrophes that are increasingly affecting vulnerable developing nations, which did little to cause the climate crisis. These countries are demanding action from the rich nations.

The WWA study said the reason the floods were so disastrous was that the people of the region were already highly vulnerable to extreme weather, as a result of poverty, violent conflict and political instability.

“The analysis found a very clear fingerprint of anthropogenic climate change,” said Professor Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, who is at Cop27. “The floods caused massive suffering and damage, especially in the context of high human vulnerability.

“As scientists, we are not in a position to tell the Cop27 negotiators whether it should be a loss and damage fund, a facility or a patchwork of solutions, as is being discussed,” he said. “But what is very clear from the science is that this is a real and current problem and that it is particularly the poorest countries that are hit hard, so it is clear that solutions are needed.”

Professor Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and also of Cop27, said that analyzes like those of the WWA clearly showed the link between global warming and climate disasters: “So the legitimacy of losses and damage has never been so high. like today.”

The WWA team also assessed the 2021 drought in the central Sahel region in Africa which damaged crops and contributed to a food crisis in 2022. However, scientists were unable to estimate the influence of the climate crisis due to a lack of data from weather stations, pointing to the need to invest in weather stations.

“Around the world we are seeing how important it is to know what the climate is today, so that we can properly understand how it is changing and where we need to focus our adaptation efforts,” said Dr Friederike Otto of Imperial College London.

A recent Guardian analysis of hundreds of studies exposed the devastating intensification of extreme weather that is causing people all over the world to lose their lives and livelihoods. At least a dozen major events, from deadly heat waves to searing seas, would have been nearly impossible without human-caused global warming.

Severe events in 2022 include the calamitous floods in Pakistan, where global warming increased rainfall intensity by about 50%and the record summer drought in the northern hemisphere, which would have been expected only once every four centuries without the climate crisis. A deadly heat wave in South Asia at the beginning of the year it became 30 times more likely.

WWA’s analysis focused on two regions: the Lake Chad Basin, where the rainy season saw above-average rainfall, and the lower Niger basin, where there were shorter and more intense downpours. The study team included researchers from Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Europe and the United States.

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