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Climate making disasters like B.C. rain more frequent and more intense: scientists

Too early to know the extent to which climate change contributed
A car is seen in a flooded ditch along a road in Chilliwack, B.C., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Scientists say climate change is likely playing a role in this week’s catastrophic flooding in British Columbia.

Highways are blocked and communities have been evacuated after bucketing rain caused mudslides in several parts of the province.

Francis Zwiers at the University of Victoria says it’s too early to know the extent to which climate change contributed to the disasters.

But he says such events are being made more common and more intense as the climate warms.

A 2019 report from the B.C. government says the province was at medium risk from extreme rain, river flooding and landslides — all of which have occurred this week.

Science is getting better at figuring out what contributions climate change is making to extreme weather, concluding that last summer’s record-breaking heat dome would have been impossible without climate change.

—The Canadian Press

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