The study concludes that the precipitation model that engineers use to design critical infrastructures such as large dams and nuclear power plants must be updated to reflect climate change.

The article calculates that “Probable Maximum Rainfall” (PMP) estimates for 546 large dams in Australia should increase by an average of 14 to 38 percent due to atmospheric humidity.

Current PMP models have not been updated for at least 20 years, and recent meteorological events have already shown that the climate is warming, making storms more intense and frequent, the researchers say.

“Some of the worst floods in the world occurred when extreme storms broke through the dam, causing the dam to collapse and a downward wall of water to be released,” one of the paper’s authors said.

University of Melbourne principal investigator Rory Nathan said: “No country in the world has yet updated the operational procedures used to assess PMP in a climate-sensitive country… these procedures need to be reviewed.”

Source: Ferra

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