Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scientists say climate change partially to blame for increase in Wisconsin's rain events

Chad Dally in the Wausau Daily Herald (Wisconsin): Rain and flooding that wreaked havoc on central Wisconsin in September could become more common because of global climate change, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.

More than 3.5 inches of rain fell on the Wausau area between Sept. 22 and Sept. 24. Storms that severe have occurred an average of two to four times per decade since 1950, said Steve Vavrus, a senior scientist at the UW-Madison Center for Climatic Research. But Vavrus said they are projected to happen more often, possibly causing more flooding and taxing stormwater sewer systems.

The number of 3-inch rain storms per decade is projected to increase by 30 percent to 40 percent by mid-century, and 40 percent to 65 percent by 2100 -- which means a storm like the one in September could occur six or seven times in a decade. "A 30 to 40 percent increase from that may not be very much, but they can also be very expensive, so even a little increase matters," Vavrus said.

Damage assessments from the September storm have climbed above $10 million solely for public infrastructure in the state, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management, which does not calculate monetary damage to homes and businesses….

Barneveld, Wisconsin, shot by Ylem

No comments: