Factsheet: Climate Change and Intense Rainfall and Flooding

11.04.17 By
This content is more than 7 years old

This factsheet on the influence of climate change on intense rainfall and flooding is a follow up to last week’s factsheet on ‘Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change’ after Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit North Queensland on 28 March.


Key points

1. Climate change is influencing all extreme rainfall events. The warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, about 7% more than previously. This increases the risk of heavier downpours.

2. Extreme rainfall events are expected to increase in intensity in Australia.

3. For Queensland and New South Wales, the two states most badly affected by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, extreme rainfall events are likely to worsen. For example, maximum one-day rainfall is expected to increase by up to 17 and 18% for New South Wales and Queensland respectively.

4. It is critical that communities and emergency services have access to information about rainfall in a changing climate to ensure they can prepare for the future, particularly when rebuilding damaged infrastructure.