Title: Climate change and river floods in the European Union: Socio-economic consequences and the costs and benefits of adaptation
Authors: ROJAS MUJICA RODRIGO FELIPEFEYEN LucWATKISS Paul
Citation: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS vol. 23 no. 6 p. 1737–1751
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC85624
ISSN: 0959-3780
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378013001416
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC85624
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.08.006
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This study presents the first appraisal of the socio-economic impacts of river floods in the European Union in view of climate and socio-economic changes. The assessment is based on two trajectories: (a) no adaptation, where the current levels of protection are kept constant, and (b) adaptation, where the level of protection is increased to defend against future flooding events. As a basis for our analysis we use an ensemble-based pan-European flood hazard assessment for present and future conditions. Socioeconomic impacts are estimated by combining flood inundation maps with information on assets exposure and vulnerability. Ensemble-based results indicate that current expected annual population affected of ca. 200,000 is projected to increase up to 360,000 due to the effects of socio-economic development and climate change. Under the no adaptation trajectory current expected annual damages of s5.5 billion/year are projected to reach s98 billion/year by the 2080s due to the combined effects of socio-economic and climate change. Under the adaptation trajectory the avoided damages (benefits) amount to s53 billion/year by the 2080s. An analysis of the potential costs of adaptation associated with the increase in protection suggests that adaptation could be highly cost-effective. There is, however, a wide range around these central numbers reflecting the variability in projected climate. Analysis at the country level shows high damages, and by association high costs of adaptation, in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic. At the country level, there is an even wider range around these central values, thus, pointing to a need to consider climate uncertainty in formulating practical adaptation strategies.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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