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Reiner Schnur of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany reports on two new studies which predict that the risk of extreme rainfall over Europe and Asian monsoon regions is increasing, with more floods likely worldwide.

Palmer and Räisänen have analysed the output of 19 climate models to estimate the probability of excessive rainfall, and find a five-fold increase in risk over parts of northern Europe and similar increases for the Asian monsoon region — with serious implications for flood-prone areas in Bangladesh.

In a separate study, Milly et al show that the frequency of great floods in the largest river basins worldwide increased substantially during the twentieth century, and that the trend is likely to continue.

Source: Nature 415, 483 (2002)

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Link to paper by Palmer and Räisänen
Link to paper by Milly et al