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Climate change a major factor in fatal South Africa floods

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MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — The fatal floods that wreaked havoc in South Africa in mid-April this year have been attributed to human-caused climate change, a rapid analysis published Friday by a team of leading international scientists said.

The study by the World Weather Attribution group analyzed both historical and emerging sets of weather data relating to the catastrophic rainfall last month, which triggered massive landslides in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces, and concluded that climate change was a contributing factor to the scale of the damage.

“Human-induced climate change contributed largely to this extreme weather event,” Izidine Pinto, a climate analyst at the University of Cape Town and part of the group that conducted the analysis, said. “We need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a new reality where floods and heatwaves are more intense and damaging.”

The scientists said that extreme rainfall episodes like those in April can now be expected about every twenty years, doubling the number of extreme weather events in the region if human-caused climate change had not been a factor. Rainfall is also expected to be about 4 to 8% heavier, the report said.

The floods resulted in the deaths of more […]

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