British climate scientists have found that rainfall almost equivalent to monsoon levels has become increasingly common in Britain over the past 40 years. As the rain has increased, so too has the risk of flooding, especially in areas close to rivers which were previously considered high enough to avoid damage. Some five million people could be at risk of flooding or face increased insurance premiums.

“The changes we have plotted are consistent with the trend we would expect from global warming,” said Hayley Fowler, a senior research associate at Newcastle University’s school of civil engineering and geosciences. Fowler will present her findings at the British Association’s Festival of Science in Norwich this week. “If the trend continues, which is likely, this suggests we will have an increase in flooding over the coming years which has major implications for flood risk management.”

So five million at risk already and what is our answer? To build even more homes on flood-plains. You couldn’t make this stuff up.