Extreme rainfall rates like those seen in New York and New Jersey, as well as other recent extreme rainfall events in Tennessee, Germany and China, are becoming more common because of human-caused global warming, scientists say.
A recent UN climate report stated, “the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area.”
In the US specifically, the heaviest downpours have been observed to be increasing in all regions of the continental US, with the Northeast US showing the largest increase, according to the US National Climate Assessment.
“Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans,” the report says.