'We need giant steps': Experts on impacts of extreme rainfall, drought




  • In Business
  • 2021-12-02 18:41:19Z
  • By USA TODAY

Millions of Americans are under siege from heavier rains and longer droughts as climate change alters precipitation patterns from coast to coast.

Rising temperatures and rising oceans have for years been framed as the impending disasters on the crest of climate change. But this year, like few before it, changing rainfall patterns bullied their way into the collective consciousness, USA TODAY found in a yearlong reporting effort called "Downpour."

Read "Downpour": How a summer of extreme weather reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America.

The reporting reveals a stunning shift in the way precipitation falls in America, and it makes clear the nation was built for the climate of the past. Roads, bridges, sewer systems and entire communities that decades ago seemed safe from fire and flood now lie within one or both danger zones.

USA TODAY reporters talked to dozens of experts about the rainfall extremes and the impacts to communities. We have assembled here a selection of their comments, organized by topic.

On the increase in extreme rainfall

Chad Berginnis
Chad Berginnis  
Joe Rossi
Joe Rossi  
Russ Schumacher
Russ Schumacher  
Angeline Pendergrass
Angeline Pendergrass  

On the influence of humans

Jessica Tierney
Jessica Tierney  
Gabriel Villarini
Gabriel Villarini  
Harriet Festing
Harriet Festing  

.

On the impact to communities and infrastructure

Robert Bullard
Robert Bullard  
Darren Olson
Darren Olson  
Christine Kirchhoff
Christine Kirchhoff  
Jyotsna Jagai
Jyotsna Jagai  
Daniel Wright
Daniel Wright  

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Experts on the impacts of extreme rainfall

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