New study: Climate change made Imelda’s extreme flooding twice as likely

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The News

A new study is drawing the connection between Imelda, the devastating flood in southeast Texas in September, and climate change. The surprise storm is now the sixth wettest tropical storm in U.S. history and the region’s second 1,000-year flood since Harvey. 

Using climate models and statistical analyses, researchers discovered climate change made extreme rainfall in Imelda 1.6 to 2.6 times more likely to occur and 9 to 17 percent more intense, according to World Weather Attribution, an international project that provides rapid analysis of extreme weather events by researchers from universities like Oxford and Princeton.

What It Means

With scientists sounding the alarm on Imelda as the second extreme flooding event in Texas supercharged by climate change, it’s another sign that the existential crisis is already hitting home in Texas. As climate change continues to creep into the everyday lives of Texans, it’s more important than ever for the state’s GOP leaders to start taking the threat seriously. But that’s not the case.

Last year, the Republican-led Texas Legislature squashed several bills that would have allowed Texas to study and plan for climate change. Even worse, the state’s Republican leadership doesn’t believe that the climate is changing, or that this change caused by humans.

Photo: Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

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