He and Mireia Ginesta, also a member of the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute, analyzed how events similar to these last two hurricanes in 2023 have changed in the present (2001–2022) compared to what they would have been if they had occurred in the past (1979–2000) in the region.
The two specialists also noted that the sources of natural climate change, especially the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, may have played a part in influencing the event. “This means that the changes we observe in the event compared to the past may be due to human-caused climate change, which has a contribution to natural innovation.
“We are dedicating our research efforts to identifying the connection between climate change and the extratropical storms that sweep across Europe. Storms Babet and Aline are very similar to Storm Alex, which we attribute to climate change and which caused damage to France and Italy in October 2020. Like their predecessors, Babet and Aline present higher levels of precipitation and wind strength in the context of our current climate compared to historical climates, Ginesta repeated.
Spain and several other Mediterranean countries recently faced Hurricane Daniel, which left thousands dead and displaced. This new reality will become more common as the ocean warms: storms that occur there are full of energy and humidity and become more violent events of the time.
“The increasing number of threats caused by these different storms highlights the necessary need to generalize the conclusions of our analysis,” concluded the researcher. “It, in turn, serves as a resounding call to action for the rapid implementation of adaptation measures”.