Atmospheric river storms create $1 billion-a-year flood damage

Science Daily  December 4, 2019
Researchers found that flooding has caused nearly $51 billion in damages to western states in the last 40 years. More than 84 percent of these damages were caused by atmospheric rivers (ARs), long narrow corridors of water vapor in the atmosphere, capable of carrying more than twice the volume of the Amazon river through the sky. A team of researchers in the US (UC San Diego, US Army) used 40 years of data from the National Flood Insurance Program to show that ARs are the primary drivers of flood damages in the western United States. Using a recently developed AR scale, which varies from category 1 to 5, they found that each increase in category corresponds to a roughly 10-fold increase in damages. Rising population, increased development, and climate change are expected to worsen the risk of AR-driven flood damage in future decades…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

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