By Jack W Reed; SANDIA CORP ALBUQUERQUE NM
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Climate change is expected to lead to worldwide rise in the frequency of both sorts of event. 90 While it seems clear that certain populations will be particularly vulnerable to these phenomena – such as impoverished island-based societies and Space, time and the science of climate change 39 developing countries more generally – developed countries will also be at risk. 94 First, sudden increases in rainfall in a vulnerable location. Second, sustained bouts of rainfall culminating in soil saturation.
94 First, sudden increases in rainfall in a vulnerable location. Second, sustained bouts of rainfall culminating in soil saturation. Third, rises in sea-levels in coastal areas unconnected to rainfall events. The IPCC suggest that climate change will increase the frequency of all three of these pathways. It will, for example, affect the distribution and intensity of rainfall, bringing about an increase in the frequency of days where heavy rainfall occurs. As noted above, it is also expected to bring about significant rises in global sea levels in the distant future as a result of oceanic thermal expansion and glacial melting.
While greenhouse gas concentrations are evenly distributed throughout the globe, localised differences in the nature of climate processes mean that the effects of both global warming and sea-level rises will vary from region to region. Some developed countries, such as the UK, seem set to be moderate losers. 5°C by 2100; the frequency of very warm seasons will increase; and annual rainfall will increase by at least 10 per cent by 2080. 28 Developing countries, especially those that are partly or entirely low-lying, as well as small-island states, are expected to be much more adversely affected.