Torrential rains have not let up in the Mediterranean since the beginning of September, with three episodes that have resulted in numerous fatalities and enormous material losses. The first DANA hit Spain, mainly on September 3, causing five deaths. Next, the destructive storm Daniel affected Greece (17 deaths), Turkey (seven deaths) and Bulgaria (four) between September 4 and 7. And that same DANA wreaked destruction on September 10 in Libya, where there are already 3,958 confirmed victims in the city of Derna and 170 more in other areas of the country. It is feared that the final figure is much higher, as there are around 10,000 missing, according to the latest UN estimate.
A team of climatologists from the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group publishes this Tuesday a rapid analysis of whether climate change caused by human action is linked to these destructive torrential rains. Their main conclusion is that it made DANA in Libya 50 times more likely and torrential rains in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey 10 times more likely.
In Spain they estimate that A DANA like the one we suffered two weeks ago occurs every 40 years but in the case of our country, these WWA experts have not been able to determine if there is a link with climate change. As they explain, they have not been able to do a complete analysis as most of the rain has fallen in a few hours and in relatively small areas. The climate models available for torrential rains, they argue, offer unrepresentative data on time scales of less than a day so, Although they believe that climate change has influenced the Spanish DANA, with the study they have presented today they cannot say for sure.
This type of analysis is called an attribution study and serves to clarify the extent to which human-caused climate change has influenced an extreme weather event specific. Why and for what purpose are they made? Because, although one of the main and feared effects of climate change is the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (such as heat and cold waves, droughts or torrential rains), not all extreme episodes can be attributed to him. For example, droughts are phenomena typical of the climate of Spain, which have always existed, but due to climate change their frequency and severity is increasing, so with these attribution studies we try to find out if a specific drought has been influenced by climate change.
Furthermore, when climate change influences an extreme phenomenon, making it more intense or frequent, for example, the degree of influence varies depending on the episode, that is, in some it has a greater influence than in others.