In 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped 60 inches of rain on Nederland, Texas. That was over the course of a few days. Notoriously rainy Seattle gets about 38 inches a year. The storm caused over $125 billion worth of damage, according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Was it just a bizarre event, or was it caused by climate change?
In the past, climate scientists have been hesitant to say any particular weather event, no matter how wild, was due to the effects of global warming, greenhouse gases, and other human causes. But Dr. Friederike Otto and the World Weather Attribution team studied Harvey and determined that climate change made the rainfall more intense, causing between 12% and 22% more water to drop on Houston and its surrounding area.
It’s a relatively new science, determining “whether and to what extent anthropogenic — so human-induced — climate change alters the likelihood