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Researchers Develop Novel Statistical Method to Predict Floods and its Duration

It is also possible to predict how long the duration of flooding and inundation will be, they said

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flood, bangladesh
At least 30 people have been killed since the floods began last week. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel statistical model for prediction of floods and its duration. It also accurately determines the timescale of flooding. “It is possible to predict the duration of floods by coupling atmospheric dynamics and land surface conditions in the watershed,” said study researcher Nasser Najibi from the City College of New York.

For the study published in the journal Nature Research, researchers analysed data from the Missouri river basin from the last 50 years to develop the Bayesian network statistical model.

The research team found that long duration floods first require high flow conditions in rivers created by recurrent high-intensity rainfall events, which is then followed by a large stable long-lived low-pressure system — a storm cell. These conditions may then result in large-scale devastating floods.

floods
It is also possible to predict how long the duration of flooding and inundation will be, they said. VOA

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In shorter duration, however, this land-atmospheric coupling is negligible thus explaining why not all storms result in widespread flooding.

The researchers said that with the help of this statistical model, potential risk imposed by longer duration floods on critical infrastructure systems such as flood control dams, bridges and power plants can be mitigated. It is also possible to predict how long the duration of flooding and inundation will be, they said. (IANS)

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Around 400mn Lives to be Affected by Year 2100 if Greenland Ice Melts at its Current Rate

Greenland ice melt puts 400mn people at risk of flooding by 2100

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Greenland ice
Scientists warn that about 400 million people will be affected by the end of the century due to ice melting in Greenland. Pixabay

About 400 million are likely to be affected by coastal flooding by the end of the century if Greenland ice melt continues at its current rate, scientists have warned.

Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

“As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet,” said one of the study authors Andrew Shepherd, Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.

“On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise,” Shepherd said.

For the study, a team of 96 polar scientists from 50 international organisations combined 26 separate surveys to compute changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet between 1992 and 2018.

Greenland ice
Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, Pixabay

Altogether, data from 11 different satellite missions were used, including measurements of the ice sheet’s changing volume, flow and gravity.

The findings showed that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 — enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that global sea levels will rise by 60 centimetres by 2100, putting 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding.

But this new study shows that Greenland’s ice losses are rising faster than expected and are instead tracking the IPCC’s high-end climate warming scenario, which predicts seven centimetres more.

So 40 million more people are likely to be exposed to coastal flooding by 2100 than earlier projected.

“These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities,” Shepherd said.

The team also used regional climate models to show that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen.

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The other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures.

Ice losses peaked at 335 billion tonnes per year in 2011 – ten times the rate of the 1990s – during a period of intense surface melting. (IANS)