High Rainfall Turns Out To Disturb The Global Economy


Based on the results of the latest research, high rainfall turns out to have an impact on economic conditions, even on a global scale. How could that be?

Quoted from Science Daily, Friday (1/14/2022) economic growth fell as the number of wet days and days with extreme rainfall increased, according to the findings of a team of scientists from Potsdam, Germany. Rich countries were hardest hit, particularly in the manufacturing and service sectors.

Based on research published in the journal Nature, an analysis of data from more than 1,500 regions over the past 40 years, shows a clear link that increased daily rainfall, driven by climate change from burning oil and coal, will harm the global economy.

"It's about prosperity, and ultimately about people's jobs. Economies around the world are being slowed by wetter days and extreme daily rainfall. This is an important insight that adds to our understanding of the true 'cost' of change climate," said Leonie Wenz of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) who led the research.

Wenz said macro-economic assessments of climate impacts have so far focused mostly on temperature and considered changes in rainfall only over longer time scales such as years or months, thus missing the full picture.

"More annual rainfall is generally good for economies, especially those that depend on agriculture. But it is also a question of how rain is distributed throughout the day of the year. Intensive daily rainfall is bad, especially for rich industrial countries like the US, Japan , or Germany," he said.

Maximilian Kotz, the study's first author and also from the Potsdam Institute, said they identified a number of different effects on economic production, but the most important one was actually from extreme daily rainfall.

"This is because extreme rainfall is where we can already see the effects of climate change most clearly, and because it is increasing almost everywhere around the world," he said.

This analysis statistically evaluates sub-national economic output data for 1554 regions worldwide in the period 1979-2019, which were collected and made publicly available by MCC and PIK.

The scientists combined this with high-resolution rainfall data. The combination of increasing detail in climate and economic data is critical in the context of rain, a highly localized phenomenon, and reveals new insights.

By factoring the Earth's atmosphere with the greenhouse gases produced from power plants and fossil-fuel vehicles, humanity is warming the planet.

The warmer air can hold more water vapor which eventually becomes rain. Although atmospheric dynamics make regional changes in annual averages more complicated, extreme daily precipitation is increasing globally due to this water vapor effect.

"A closer look at short timescales than annual averages helps to understand what's going on: it's daily rainfall that poses a threat. It's more of a climate shock from extreme weather threatening our way of life than gradual change," said co-author Anders. Levermann, Potsdam Institute's Head of Complexity Science domain.

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