A flood can be said to be too much water on land. It is the accumulation of overflow of rivers and streams or tidal waters, heavy rains or dams. In recent times, the major sources of floods are from human induced climate change. Climate change has been proved by scientists and other professional research bodies that it impacts the water-related variables such as rainfall and snowmelt that contribute to climate change.
The earth temperature has risen to an average of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901. It has also made the earth about 4 percent wetter, which explains that a warmer atmosphere holds more water. Global warming has been fueled by human carbon emissions and they tend to generate extreme storms generate approximately 27 percent more moisture than they did a century ago. Basically, because of global warming, when it rains, it increases in intensity and rains more.
Heavy precipitation events are projected to increase (along with temperatures) through the 21st century, to a level from 50 percent to as much as three times the historical average. This includes extreme weather events known as atmospheric rivers, air currents heavy with water from the tropics. Experts predict they will intensify, bringing as much as 50 percent more heavy rain by the end of this century. Heavier rainfall does not automatically lead to floods, but it increases the potential for them. And even moderate amounts of rainfall can cause serious damage, particularly in places where urban flooding is on the rise.
The consequences of flooding are fatal. It destroys lives, properties, food supplies, diseases and health risks are increased. Floods also carry sewage, leaked toxic chemicals, and runoff from hazardous waste sites to pollute drinking water supplies and cause eye, ear, skin, and gastrointestinal infections. When floodwaters recede, bacteria and mold may remain, increasing rates of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. Flooding can also contribute to mental health problems, lead to economic loss (as in the form of lost business or wages), and uproot whole communities. There are campaigns, awareness on carbon emissions, studies and research carried out to inform policies and adaptation strategies all over the world to monitor human carbon footprint.
Angela Akanwa is an environmental manager – consultant, an ardent researcher and a lecturer with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria. Her areas of focus include; climate change, vegetation loss, food security, human health, mining and water quality studies. She has taught a variety of courses at both under graduate and post graduate levels. She has published several articles, research works and book chapters with reputable journals and publishers