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Why there is so much flooding in the South of France

Torrential rains in the Southern French department of Gard yesterday three of the campsites under water. About 750 people had to be evacuated. Each year infest floods in the region by the so-called ‘épisodes méditerranéens’.

On average, three to six times per year, violent stormsystemen intense rainfall to the Mediterranean. Rainfall can reach up to 200 mm in a single day. The equivalent of a few months rain in a few hours or days. That is according to figures from Meteo France.

In september 2002, the Gard is a particularly violent épisode: in the municipality of Anduze there was 687 mm of precipitation in less than a day and a half. That corresponds to two-thirds of the annual average. The large amount of rainfall caused heavy flooding in which 22 people lost their lives. Also in the years that followed there were such floods in the region. In another Southern French department of the Var, fell in 2010, 25 deaths in heavy rain.

Heavy by a flood

The mediterranean climate is characterized by hot and dry summer. Because the temperature of the Mediterranean Sea increases, increases the hot, humid, and unstable air. As the warm air comes in contact with colder air from the north, caused by a flood, or épisodes méditerranéens.

The downpours are the most common in the autumn, because then the sea is the warmest, and take the most often the departments of Gard and Ardèche. Each year there is an average of more than 200 mm rainfall on a single day. In Hérault and Lozère that happens every one or two years.

Climate change

By the warming of the earth, the number of Europeans that have been affected by floods, with 86 percent increase, or about 650,000 people per year. This is evident from a study which in January was published in the scientific journal Climate.

According to Meteo France is the South of France, one of the world’s most prominent “hotspots” of climate change. But by the warming of the earth also comes with the rest of Europe in trouble, according to the French climatologist Jean Jouzel, vice-president of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). ‘Today gets about 5 percent of the Europeans to cope with extreme climatic conditions such as floods, droughts, heat waves, sea level rise, ” he said this month at The Time.

“But when the earth warms up, will that in the second half of the century for two in three Europeans will be the case. Each year in Europe, 3,000 deaths due to the climate. That can go up to 150,000 if we are no serious efforts in the fight against global warming. That still figures to stand still.’

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