Days before roiling waters tore through western Germany, a European weather agency issued an “extreme” flood warning after detailed models showed storms that threatened to send rivers surging to levels that a German meteorologist said on Friday had not been seen in 500 or even 1,000 years. Extreme downpours like the ones that occurred in Germany are one of the most visible signs that the climate is changing as a result of warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have found that they are now happening more frequently for a simple reason: A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, generating more, and more powerful, rainfall.
By Melissa Eddy, Jack Ewing, Megan Specia, and Steven Erlanger. New York Times. July 17, 2021.