The recent floods in Serbia are the result of climate change, experts say

Greenhouse emissions caused chaotic weather patterns - And in some parts of Serbia, the rain in just twelve hours equaled what is the average precipitation in June.

Heavy rain with droplets splashing on a wooden beam.
Beeld: ©Liv Bruce

Central and Eastern Serbia experienced heavy rainfalls in the last two weeks that caused floods and damaged infrastructure and crops. Extreme precipitation is the result of climate change that will further worsen in the second half of the 21st century, experts say. According to Professor Vladimir Đurđević, the torrents carried bridges, damaged road infrastructure and flooded households and crops. In some parts of the country, the amount of rain fell in just twelve hours was close to the total average precipitation for June, which, along with May, is the rainiest month in Serbia.

The situation was also dramatic in the neighboring countries, where extreme rainfall was also recorded in the previous period. However, when the water recedes and life returns to normal, the circumstances will continue to be extraordinary compared to the middle of the last century. Due to climate change, Serbia is already experiencing more and more extreme precipitation, and the situation will further worsen in the second half of this century. The lowest risk threshold, in terms of quantities, is precipitation of more than 20 liters of water per m2 during one day, and the number of such situations in Serbia is increasing.

Despite the fact that May and June are the months during which, according to the statistics of the Hydrometeorological Institute of Serbia (RHMZ), the highest amount of precipitation is recorded in the country, the intensity of recent rainfall is very worrying. NovaEkonomija portal writes that the current situation with over seventy liters of rain per square meter in just 12 hours is alarming.

Meteorologists around the world have noticed an increase in extreme rainfall, such as the heavy rain that recently hit Eastern and Western Serbia. This is attributed to human influence, i.e. the burning of fossil fuels, which is why the planet is getting warmer.

A recent study has, for the first time, officially shown that the dominant cause of the changed pattern of precipitation on the European continent, including Serbia, are greenhouse gas emissions. According to the projections of the UK Meteorological Service, which conducted the research, in the future, under the influence of climate change, the probability of extreme precipitation in Serbia will increase throughout the year, while drier conditions are forecasted in the Mediterranean parts of Europe.

Global warming not only means that temperatures will be higher, but because of this phenomenon, changes in weather conditions are taking place that one might not expect - one of them is this observed change in the pattern of precipitation.


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