New field of climate science looks at how a warming earth contributes to local flooding

Written by on August 7, 2020

New field of climate science looks at how a warming earth contributes to local flooding

By Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

August 7, 2020

A Philadelphia Water Department Vehicle closes down flooded Tulip and Lehigh streets during Isaias in Philadelphia. Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Tropical Storm Isaias flooded large and small streams in eastern Pennsylvania. It also forced the Schuylkill River to crest at record-breaking levels in Philadelphia.

Climate scientists are already seeing evidence of rainfall trending upward in the region. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips reports that a new field of climate science looks at how a warming earth contributes to impacts like local flooding.

We’ve all heard the predictions from climate scientists – stronger storms, heavier rains, increased flooding.

Climate Central Meteorologist Sean Sublette says while you can’t say climate change caused one particular storm like Isaias, the warming atmosphere does make it more likely that the storms will bring heavier rain.

“It’s kind of like loading the dice, at any one time, your odds of rolling a five or seven or 11 are a certain way, but you can tweak the dice, and suddenly you’re rolling more sevens.”

Sublette says that increased greenhouse gas emissions have weighted those dice – so that climate change makes high impact storms like Tropical Storm Isaias more likely. Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Sign Up for our WLVR weekly newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news from the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania. 


News

Current track

Title

Artist

Background
%d bloggers like this: