Much water has flowed: why has the number of heavy rains increased in Russia over the past half century
In Russia, over the past 50 years, the intensity and frequency of rainfall has increased, and the growth rate has increased by 1-2% every decade. This is evidenced by a study of climatologists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, RAS. Scientists analyzed data on precipitation recorded by domestic meteorological stations for half a century of observations. In their opinion, global processes can influence the growth in the number of torrential rains and the natural disasters they cause: climate change in the world and an increase in the average annual temperature in Russia. The research results will allow to understand the mechanisms of occurrence of dangerous natural phenomena, experts believe.
Scientists noted an increase in the share of heavy rainfall in total precipitation in Russia from 1966 to 2016. Climatologists of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov, Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, All-Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information - World Data Center, Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences and French Institute of Ecological Earth Sciences According to the Russian Science Foundation.
All the rains in Russia for 50 years are divided in the study into drizzles, heavy and heavy. Scientists have noticed that every decade the share of heavy rains in the total amount of precipitation in our country grew by 1-2%. Separately, changes in precipitation patterns were monitored by region, the country was divided into 5 conditional zones: the north and south of the European part of the Russian Federation, the north and south of Siberia, and the Far East.
In each zone, there was a slight increase in total precipitation and a significant increase in the share of heavy rain, and in some regions this process is faster. In the south of the Far East, rainfall has become twice as abundant as may be caused by changes in the monsoon climate and atmospheric pollution, meteorologists believe. In the northern regions, the proportion of heavy rains has also increased, but it has not yet exceeded the contribution of “calm” rains.
Heavy rain is harder to predict, and they have significant consequences, scientists note. Floods and flooding caused by precipitation threaten people's lives and cause significant economic damage. The results of the study will help in predicting hazardous phenomena and preventing natural disasters, climatologists believe. The authors of the study also believe that the intensity of the water cycle in nature can be affected by global climate change in the world and the growth of average annual temperature in Russia.
“We plan to continue work to identify the direct mechanisms of these changes and to link heavy showers with other dangerous phenomena - hail, squalls and tornadoes,” notes Alexander Chernoukulsky, project leader, senior researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics.