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'Skyscrapers cause wetter weather, ' warns top scientist

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A leading meteorologist has warned that the government's determination to 'build tall' could lead to major changes in local weather patterns.

Professor Christopher Collier - speaking at the British Association's Festival of Science last Thursday - said his researchers have proved that the erection of skyscrapers can 'significantly increase' the rainfall in neighbouring towns.

Towers and areas of urban density can create areas of 'rough turbulence' that will push air upwards, Collier said, a situation that can produce increased rainfall downwind. He said this effect of tall buildings could be as influential as climate change on local weather conditions.

Collier also questioned the government's determination to build tall. 'In the South East, government policy is to increase housing density from 24 homes per hectare to between 30 and 50, ' he warned. 'In so doing we are likely to make a distinct impact on the weather, the effects of which may well be detrimental.'

The scientist cited as evidence how Salford's population increases during the industrial revolution led directly to an increase in rainfall in neighbouring Stockport.

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