Study claims link between human activity and higher rainfall

PARIS, February 16, 2011 (AFP) – Global warming driven by human activity boosted the intensity of rain, snow and consequent flooding in the northern hemisphere over the last half of the 20th century, research released Wednesday has shown. Members of the public interested in lending computing power can find information at climateprediction.net, which is currently fueled by 50,000 to 60,000 personal computers at any given time. Two studies, both published in Nature, are among the first to draw a straight line between climate change and its impact on potentially deadly and damaging extreme weather events.

Australia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Pakistan have all been recently ravaged by massive flooding, raising questions as to whether global warming was at least partly to blame.

Computer models have long predicted that the observed rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases would magnify episodes of diluvian rainfall.

But up to now, the link has been largely theoretical.

“This paper provides the first specific evidence that this is indeed the case,” said Francis Zwiers, a researcher at the University of Victoria in Canada and a co-author of one of the studies.

“Humans influence the intensity of precipitation extremes,” h