Rainfall And Floods: Observations More Reliable Than Climate Models

  • Date: 10/10/14
  • Global Warming Policy Foundation

London, 10 October: A new briefing paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reviews the scientific literature on rainfall and floods and finds little evidence that there have been significant changes in recent years and little support for claims that they will become worse in future.

 

Despite claims to the contrary, there has been no significant change in rainfall trends in recent years both at global and UK levels. It remains very difficult to make strong claims about any changes there have been because of high natural variability in rainfall patterns, particularly in the UK.

Rainfall is a particularly difficult area for climate models, which have limited ability to recreate what is seen in the real world. Since these climate models are the main basis of claims that extreme rainfall and flooding events are being adversely affected by man-made global warming and that rainfall will become worse in the future, policymakers should treat such modelling with extreme caution.

Author Andrew Montford said, “We are constantly bombarded with insinuations that storms and floods are caused by or ‘linked to’ climate change.”

“In reality these claims are usually based on climate models, which have a demonstrable inability to tell us anything reliable about rainfall. The scientific evidence shows that a simple extrapolation of rainfall averages over time can give better rainfall predictions than climate models,” he added.

Full paper (pdf)