Lflood that hit Romagna in Mayfollowing 3 recorded rain events, it is not attributable to the climate crisis and to climate change. The attribution study carried out by the World Weather Attribution experts established that global warming is not the basis of the disaster, but a combination of factors to be identified in theexceptional nature of the event and the strong urbanization of the area.
Flood in Romagna: the climate crisis has nothing to do with it, it’s a question of urbanization
The first of the three rainfall events, recorded on 2, 10 and 16 May, brought heavy rains at times to soil sealed by two years of drought. The last 2 events, however, have resulted intense rains on a now saturated soiltherefore unable to absorb new water.
The rain fell in just over two weeks, amounting to quantities that normally fall within 6 monthshave caused theflooding of 23 riversflooding the surrounding areas, e over 400 landslides. I am 17 victims of the flood which hit Romagna, with over 50,000 people forced to evacuate.
Italian, Dutch, French and English scientists have analyzed the causes of the disaster, to understand if the influence of the climate crisis was at the basis of the event.
Fonte World Weather Attribution
By analyzing the rainfall recorded in the period, and comparing them with historical data, it can be seen that it was a exceptional eventwhich has a return time of about 200 years. This means that there is a 0.5% chance that this event occurs within a year.
To understand whether this event was favored by the climate crisis, the experts compared the event with a model that essentially removes human-caused global warming from the equation. Of the 19 models examined, none show clear differences in the probability of the event occurring, nor in the intensity. In fact, unlike other regions of the world, climate change does not cause a significant increase in spring rains in Emilia Romagna.
The climate crisis is therefore not the main cause of the disaster. At the basis of the disaster there is therefore a very rare rainy eventwhich affected aarea already highly at risk of flooding, it’s a highly urbanized areawhich therefore prevents or hinders the natural flow of rivers to the sea.
Furthermore, according to the experts, the tragic toll of the flood was also aggravated by the low risk perception by the population, often of advanced age.
The urban planning it is crucial for reduce and mitigate flood risk. The rivers of the area have been forced into artificial courses, the land surface has been covered with concrete. To reduce the risks and vulnerability of a region such as Romagna, a huge intervention would be needed, on the one hand to prevent new buildings, and to rethink the management of river flows. According to the experts, it would be necessary to identify the areas most at risk, and direct new buildings to areas less exposed to flood risk.
Increase the forest areacreate new meanders over the rivers, create new wetlands (wetlands, marshes, peat bogs), could help slow down the flow of water from the Apennines towards the plainreducing the risk of flash floods and at the same time improving the resilience of ecosystems.