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New paper predicts future warming is likely to reduce the number of floods – Published in Global and Planetary Change

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New paper predicts future warming is likely to reduce the number of floods

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/05/new-paper-predicts-future-warming-is.html

A new paper published in Global and Planetary Change finds on the basis of paleoclimate data over the past 6,000 years that “future warming is likely to reduce the number of floods.”According to the paper, “although most climate models agree on a general increase in future precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere due to higher temperatures, no consensus has yet been reached on how this warming will perturb flooding rates.” The authors find however, “Despite an anticipated increase in Pw [winter precipitation], the paleodata, nevertheless, suggest that we are likely to witness a decrease in future floods 50–100 years from now because the accompanying warming will cancel that net effect of a wetter regime.” The paper adds to many other peer-reviewed papers finding flooding is more common during cold periods, such as the Little Ice Age [LIA] and Dark Ages Cold Period [DACP].

Horizontal axis is years before the present. Floods were less common during the Holocene Climate Optimum ~6,000 years ago, Minoan Warm Period ~3,000 years ago, Roman Warm Period ~2,000 years ago, as well as over the past two centuries. Flooding was more common during the Little Ice Age and Dark Ages Cold Period.

Scandinavian floods: From past observations to future trends

Eivind N. Størena, b, , , 
Øyvind Paasche

Highlights

Winter precipitation and floods are linked on longer time scales.

Wetter winter regimes in mountainous areas produce more floods.

Future warming is likely to reduce the number of floods.

Abstract

Although most climate models agree on a general increase in future precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere due to higher temperatures, no consensus has yet been reached on how this warming will perturb flooding rates. Here we examine the potential co-variability between winter precipitation (Pw) and floods on millennial time scales. This is accomplished by analyzing reconstructed Pw from five records in Scandinavia, which is, compared to data from two high-resolution flood records from southern Norway. These Holocene records reveal a positive correlation (R2 = 0.41, p > 0.01) between the number of floods and Pw [winter precipitation] on centennial time scales over the last 6000 years. Future projections for Pw over central Scandinavia for the next 100 years suggest a continued increase in Pw that approximates maximum Holocene precipitation values. Despite an anticipated increase in Pw [winter precipitation], the paleodata, nevertheless, suggest that we are likely to witness a decrease in future floods 50–100 years from now because the accompanying warming will cancel that net effect of a wetter regime.

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