Foulds, S.A., Macklin, M.G. and Brewer, P.A. 2014. The chronology and the hydrometeorology of catastrophic floods on Dartmoor, South West England. Hydrological Processes 28: 3067-3087.
The authors write that "extreme floods are the most widespread and often the most fatal type of natural hazard experienced in Europe, particularly in upland and mountainous areas," noting that "these 'flash flood' type events are particularly dangerous because extreme rainfall totals in a short space of time can lead to very high flow velocities and little or no time for flood warning." And "given the danger posed by extreme floods," they say "there are concerns that catastrophic hydro-meteorological events could become more frequent in a warming world."
What was done
In a study designed to see if such a trend may have established itself over the past several decades of climate-model-induced angst, Foulds et al. constructed "a high resolution record of flood activity on Dartmoor over the last ca 150 to 200 years using lichenometry," thereby enabling "recent devastating floods in the South West of England to be placed in a more meaningful temporal context, which short-term instrumental data cannot provide."
What was learned
The three UK researchers say their results show that Dartmoor experienced "widespread flooding, with particularly large and frequent events in the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries," while there has subsequently been "a general decline in flood magnitude that was particularly marked after the 1930s/mid-1940s," which they indicate was "primarily due to a decrease in heavy rainfall events."
What it means
From Foulds et al.'s point of view, as they express it in the concluding sentence of their paper, "the dangers of not accounting for historical flood frequency and magnitude may lead to an underestimate of flood risk," which is clearly correct. In addition, it suggests that in response to 20th-century global warming, this extreme weather event (flooding due to heavy rainfall) became not more frequent and extreme, but less frequent and extreme, in total contradiction of what the world's climate alarmists claim should be happening in response to global warming.