Climate change made Libya flooding up to 50 times more likely, 50% more intense

By | September 28, 2023

Jessica Corbett writes:

International scientists announced Tuesday, September 19, that an event like the extreme rain that led to deadly flooding in Libya earlier this month “has become up to 50 times more likely and up to 50% more intense compared to a 1.2°C cooler climate,” or the preindustrial world.

Those were among the findings of a World Weather Attribution analysis of torrential rainfall in several countries across the Mediterranean during the first two weeks of September, conducted by researchers from Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“The research is top-notch and follows established … rapid attribution principles, grounded in peer-reviewed methods and data that pass highest quality standards,” said Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the Leipzig University in Germany not involved with the analysis.

While the storm dubbed Daniel by Greek meteorologists impacted various countries, the African nation of Libya — which has been in chaos since 2011 — was by far the worst affected, largely due to a pair of dams that failed and let floodwaters kill thousands in the city of Derna.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Saturday, September 23, that at least 3,958 people were killed and over 9,000 more were still missing. Some groups have reported higher figures, such as the Libyan Red Crescent, which previously put the death toll at 11,300. [Continue reading…]

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