Why are scientists saying we’ve underestimated the risk of floods due to global warming?



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    Because we probably have. Projections for flood risks related to climate change have been growing bleaker with almost every successive study. As we get to know more about the effects of global warming, more factors that it affects become identified. One reason flood risk predictions have been revised upwards is because previous studies underestimated the amount of water that plant roots would retain in the soil. Greenhouse gases cause plants to hoard nutrient-bearing water in their roots, making the soil wetter; with less asborbtion of water by the soil, the effect of a flood will be worse. Revisions (usually upwards) to the estimates of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have led to even higher predictions for average temperatures by the end of the century, meaning everything related to global warming, including floods, will be worse than what had been predicted before. In England, for example, it’s now predicted that 800,000 homes will be at risk for flooding by 2035, as opposed to the 400,000 projected earlier. These dizzying statistics are causing scientists to urge greater and faster efforts to deal with the coming problems.

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