Canada: It is too early, say scientists, to attribute climate change to B.C.'s floods

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 May 2018

B.C./Ottawa, May 15 (IBNS): Many people in British Columbia (B.C.).are blaming record-breaking heat and destructive floods to climate change, media reports said. 

Scientists believed although high temperatures resulting in the melting of mountain snow giving rise to floods that hit levels seen only once in 100 years, it was too early to connect one-time events or with or even two or three-time events to global climate trends.

Several communities, over the weekend, had seen rise in temperatures into the high 20s and low 30s, and parts of the Interior B.C., for the second year in a row, had been hit by massive floods..

Last year's floods, immediately followed by wildfires and the consequent result in the loss of plant cover, had made some parts of the province even more susceptible to flooding.

Brett Gilley, a professor in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of B.C., told CBC: "I think climate change is definitely something that we're starting to experience, but it's hard to say this is that."

"When we're talking about climate, we're usually thinking of a 30-year average," Gilley said.

"So five years of weather, for example, isn't necessarily enough for us to say climate has changed, but it's possible."

According to Markus Schnorbus, the lead for hydrologic impacts at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium in Victoria, it was still debatable how warming temperatures could affect flooding.

"We have obviously concerns that hydrologic events can become more frequent in the future — both flooding and droughts — so it's something that we are very desperate and anxious to answer," said Schnorbus.

"There are all these different multiple trends with potentially conflicting processes," he said.

Scientists are reportedly using computer models, added Schnorbus, that take into account everything from projected snowfall, to melting speeds, to summer precipitation, and trying to predict how climate change could affect drought and flood cycles.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

Canada: It is too early, say scientists, to attribute climate change to B.C.'s floods

India Blooms News Service
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