Why are we seeing more and more extreme damage from heavy rain?


We’re seeing more news about damage from downpours lately, and it seems to be happening more often. I’m wondering if it’s because of global warming, which is causing more seawater to evaporate. As the water evaporates, it rains more, which can lead to flooding and other damage. I’m not sure if this is the only factor, but it seems like a likely possibility.

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We are seeing heavier and longer rain storms, due to the exact reasons you listed. But also more land has been developed. Developed land doesn’t drain as well. Water can’t get into the ground if there is now a paved parking lot, houses, office buildings, etc. in the way. That means the water will flow along the surface until it can find somewhere to go. That results in rivers and catch basins having a lot more of the rain ending up in them than would have happened if there was exposed land to absorb the water. More rain happening, more of the water ending up in the river, equals more occurrences of water flowing over the banks of the river which causes flooding of populated areas (which are in turn no longer drainable land so the flood waters get stuck waiting to drain back into the river they came from)

It’s a combination of a lot of things, to include what news agencies are deciding to publish. Just because it wasn’t all over the news doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening before. If you want to check on your idea, look up the global average annual rainfall. A steady increase in that might be an indicator.

Increased quantities of infrastructure and aging infrastructure have a large impact. We’ve built a lot of different dams, roads, and other things. This changes how water gathers and flows. Large amounts asphalt, concrete, and building surface coverage prevents ground absorption and channel high volumes of water into specific drainage areas.

More stuff is getting damaged…. because there’s more stuff to damage. There’s 3 billion more people now than 40 years ago. And 24-hr news cycle you hear about it right away. Again 40 years ago if some village washed away in Thailand or Bangladesh you’d never hear about it.