Parts of Alberta, Canada were hit by extreme flooding the size of New York State on Friday, forcing 75,000 to evacuate their homes. Hit by heavy rain, people have abandoned their cars and low-lying residences in flooded waters Mayor Naheed Nenshi described as “an ocean at the moment.”
Across the world, cities in Germany have also been wrecked by flooding — one estimate puts the damage as high as $7.7 billion. Climate science explains that global warming leads to a 5 to 10 percent increase in rainfall, and subsequently leads to a higher risk of flooding.
As Climate Central notes in its reporting on the Calgary floods: “A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on June 9 found that flood frequency as well as the number of people at risk of inundation from flood events are both likely to increase as the world continues to warm.”
Heavy precipitation extremes, which sometimes result in river flooding, have been increasing in much of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. Credit: Climate Central.
Alberta is home to controversial tar sands development, where the city of Calgary happens to be a source of climate denier arguments: The Calgary Herald, an influential paper in western Canada, has spouted climate denier points on its editorial page. The University of Calgary, meanwhile, was once paid to distribute resources opposing climate change science.