By Nina Chestney
LONDON (Reuters) - Extreme rainfall in Britain could become 10 times more likely this century due to climate change, Britain's Met Office said on Thursday.
Oct. 3 last year was provisionally the wettest day in Britain since 1891. It resulted in average rainfall of 31.7 mm across the country, which, in volume terms, is more than the capacity of the largest lake, Loch Ness.
The rainfall followed Storm Alex which caused disruption in Europe, particularly southeast France and northwest Italy.
With no influence from human-induced climate change, a similar event or a more extreme one would be a one-in-300-year event. However, it is now a one-in-100-year event due to current climate conditions, the Met Office said.
"By 2100, under a medium emissions scenario, that level of extreme daily rainfall could be seen every 30 years, making it 10 times more likely than in a natural environment," it said.
The study said there has already been an increase in frequency of extreme rainfall in Britain and that climate change has and will continue to result in more variation in rain levels.
Rather than moderate rain events, there have also been very wet or very dry periods. In a warming climate, the atmosphere may hold more water and wet extremes would be expected to be more intense, the Met Office said.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Bernadette Baum)