Billions of Dollars in Flood Damages due to Climate Change
According to Stanford researchers, 36% of flooding costs in the United States were a result of intensified precipitation over the last three decades. The hundreds of billions of dollars in flood damage are predicted to coincide with global warming.
Stanford researchers published the study on January 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which helps to conclude the lengthy debate over global warming within rising flood costs as an outcome of increasing temperatures. The study also aims to provide a new perspective on the scope of financial costs associated with climate change all over the world in general.
Factors that have potentially contributed to these rising costs are socioeconomic factors such as population growth or the increase of housing developments. Climate scientist and senior author, Noah Diffenbaugh, says, “Previous studies have analyzed pieces of this puzzle, but this is the first study to combine rigorous economic analysis of the historical relationships between climate and flooding costs with really careful extreme event analyses in both historical observations and global climate models”.
This is critical because of the fact that the study “provides a novel quantification not only of how much historical changes in precipitation have contributed to the costs of flooding but also how greenhouse gases influence the kinds of precipitation events that cause the most damaging flooding events”. In this case, Stanford researchers have isolated the role of varying precipitation to other questions of cause and effect.
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