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Are extreme floods occurring more often?

photo by Valeria Boltneva, at pixabay

The most frequent natural disaster in the world is flooding. An excess of water that submerges normally dry ground is called a flood. When places with inadequate drainage receive a lot of rainfall in a short amount of time, flash flooding happens. Flood occurrences can also be caused by storm surges, high tides, river overflow, and snowmelt.

There were 176 flood catastrophes reported globally in 2022. In a 1.5-degree Celsius warming scenario, the worldwide population at risk of flooding is predicted to climb by 24% due to climate change’s impact on sea level rise and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

The recent flood happening in Brazil, at the moment I am writing this article already taken the lives of at least 85 people and around 150,000 others displaced from their homes. Despite the alarming numbers some people on social media seem to be skeptical about it, and argue that such floods already happened in the past. Is it the case of negationism? Is the number of floods actually increasing?

Drone footage demonstrates the dramatic situation in Brazil occurring at this moment:

Dr Tellman, predicts that globally we will be facing more of this type of disaster, and 179.2 million will be experiencing floods by the year 2030, he also predicted that an extra 25 countries will be experiencing floods in addition to the 32 being impacted at the moment. Also, the article by BBC demonstrated that the areas where floods are likely to happen are the same where demographic numbers are increasing.

An article made by the Atlantic demonstrated that in the US, where data supposed that such events happen every 100 years now happen on an average of once a decade. Such data exposes a rising threat of floods world wide.

The sea level is definitely rising:

It happens unarguably that more accidents linked to climate change is related to thermal expansion that causes the constant melting of glaciers/ice sheets that make the sea level rise. Also as the global temperatures rise the water expands in the ocean. As we have seen this month in Brazil, the phenomenon poses a significant risk, especially to communities that are built at the coastal part of the continents

Negationism

Recently the movie “Don’t Look Up” took people by surprise, and astonishingly it divided people’s opinions on whether: we are living in a situation of trying to avoid the increasing number of climate change threats.

Although the movie depicts an apocalypse situation by a natural occurrence in our solar system, one that we can’t really do something about. Our real-world challenge is different, where climate change is a problem we can mitigate and even solve the situation provided the real measures are undertaken by the society. The first step to start implementing real measures might be to at least: acknowledge the situation.

Floods are not the only natural disaster occurring more often, with the percentage of the world population at risk rising by almost a quarter since the year 2000, but other types of natural disasters have also increased in number of happenings.


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