Sunday, November 29, 2009

The link between rainfall intensity and global temperature (from Dave's Landslide Blog)

One of the most interesting aspects of the global landslide database that we maintain at Durham is the way in which it has highlighted the importance of rainfall intensity in the triggering of fatal landslides. Generally speaking, to kill people a landslide needs to move quickly rapid, and rapid landslides appear to be primarily (but note not always) triggered by intense rainfall events (indeed in the reports the term "cloudburst" often crops up). So, a key component of trying to understand the impacts of human-induced global climate change on landslides is the likely nature of changes in rainfall intensity, rather than that of rainfall total. Put another way, it is possible that the average annual rainfall for an area might decrease but the occurrence of landslides increase if the rainfall arrives in more intense bursts.

(For those interested the full article can be read here)


Comment by Praful Rao

Even though STH does not have accurate data to support the above article, it is true that in 2009 we had high intensity rainfall on 5 occasions (shown in earlier blogs) - and 4 of these "extreme events" caused severe landslides in the Darjeeling district.

No comments: