A group of researchers from Germany has taken to investigating the potential changes in extreme rainfall patterns across the UK as a result of future global warming and has found that in some regions, the time of year when we see the heaviest rainfall is set to shift.
The study, published today, 21 November, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, finds that between 2061 and 2100, the south-east of the country will likely experience its most extreme rainfall later in the year whereas the north-east will likely experience it earlier in the year.
The peak time of intense precipitation will shift from late summer to autumn in south-eastern regions and in north-western regions it will shift from December to November. There were no projected changes for other regions of the UK.
These shifts will coincide with times of the year when river catchments in those regions are at their maximum water capacity, meaning there would be an increased risk of flooding.
Lead author of the study, Anne Schindler, said: "In late autumn, the river catchments in the north-west reach their maximum capacity of water, as do the eastern catchments in winter. This is the time of the year when on average the most floods occur. Therefore, you can conclude that risk increases when the timing of the near field capacity and the probability for most extreme rainfall coincides."
The researchers, from the University of Giessen and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, investigated the future changes using 12 climate model simulations for the periods 2021-2060 and 2061-2100, each forced with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) A1B scenario.
They also investigated whether the range of extreme rainfall throughout the year was set to get even greater with warming and did observe a projected increase in western regions of the UK; however, they make it clear that this finding is not robust and would need closer examination.
Schindler continued: "There are different mechanisms that influence extreme precipitation in the two regions we've highlighted. Extreme precipitation in the north-west is strongly influenced by westerly airflow and in the south-east the highest precipitation events are influenced by easterly flows from the North Sea.
"The shifts we have projected could be caused among other factors by changes in these large-scale circulation systems; however, this needs further investigation. For instance, we know there are deficits in the representation of rainfall in climate models and we do not know how the peak times vary from year to year without any man-made climate change."
The UK has a long history of monitoring rainfall and has a large number of rain gauges scattered across the country, providing a wealth of information and making it an ideal place to study.
Notes to Editors
Contact1. For further information, a full draft of the journal paper or contact with one of the researchers, contact IOP Press Officer, Michael Bishop:
2. The published version of the paper 'Changes in the annual cycle of heavy precipitation across the British Isles within the 21st century' (Anne Schindler et al 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 044029 ) will be freely available online from Wednesday 21 November.Environmental Research Letters
It has a worldwide membership of around 40 000 comprising physicists from all sectors, as well as those with an interest in physics. It works to advance physics research, application and education; and engages with policymakers and the public to develop awareness and understanding of physics. Its publishing company, IOP Publishing, is a world leader in professional scientific communications. Go to www.iop.org
Michael Bishop | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy