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Fort Lauderdale Floods: urbanization, precipitation, and Floods

Scientists claim that extreme rainfall hits Fort Lauderdale, South Florida due to unprecedented weather conditions.

By pragyaanant
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Fort Lauderdale Floods

Scientists claim that extreme rainfall hits Fort Lauderdale, South Florida due to unprecedented weather conditions. Nowadays, floods are more often as the world warms. Even though it can be challenging to find any direct attribute or specific event devoted to climate change.

According to a meteorologist and atmospheric scientist, Kait Parker, extreme rainfall is rising, particularly across the southeast United States, because a warmer atmosphere can contain more water, which is directed towards heavy rainfall and trigger more flood disasters. Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas in Florida received between 20 and 25 inches of rain in a single day. However, the National Weather Service referred to it as an exceptional weather case.

Variables for Precipitation, Flooding, and Climate Change

The atmosphere can hold 7% extra water with each degree of temperature increase. Eventually, it returns to Earth. More water vapor contributes to the increased frequency of extreme rainfall events. The evidence shows that it is causing storms to become moist after absorbing heat from the ocean. The phenomenon makes them more robust over land for extended periods.

Over the past century, annual rainfalls have consistently increased. According to the weather forecast, there is currently 6% more precipitation in the United States than 100 years ago. The percentage is roughly 2% globally. Global temperatures have increased concurrently as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. The ten hottest years in history have occurred since 2010.

The weather patterns brought by climate change are also making some areas less humid. Furthermore, the experts claim that extreme droughts followed by extreme rain events are becoming more frequent. Extreme rainfall events have been directly linked to climate change by scientists. An international group of experts known as World Weather Attribution claims that five extremely dangerous rainfall events that occurred over the world in 2022 were influenced by climate change. It includes widespread floods in West Africa, heavy monsoon rain and flooding in Pakistan, drenching rain in Brazil, catastrophic flooding in South Africa, and precipitation from tropical cyclones in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi.

The Connection between Flooding and Sea Level Rise

According to scientists, increased air temperatures and ocean warming allow ocean water to expand and glaciers and ice sheets to melt, which are the leading causes of rising sea levels. Sea level rise complicates the problem along our coasts. A higher water level means less space for flooding from rainfall events to escape via drains, canals, and ultimately to the ocean. Even when it isn't raining, sea level rise accelerates coastal flooding from high tides commonly called "nuisance flooding" or "sunny day flooding." Flooding happens on days without storms, heavy rain, or other significant weather conditions.

According to data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida had the most significant population growth rate last year and ranked third in terms of population in the USA. More and more solid constructions are being developed in places that once served as natural barriers against flooding and other environmental effects. It is also considered as the effects of urban development. Urbanization has taken the place of Florida's former wetlands and swamps. Because there is so much impermeable concrete, water cannot be absorbed by the soil and flora and must instead run off or gather.

In addition to its 23 miles of coastline, Fort Lauderdale is traversed by more than 165 miles of inland waterways. The city is in the midst of a $200 million, five-year project to increase seawalls, enhance flood control systems, and put other measures in place to preserve its most flood-prone districts. 

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