Title: Ensemble flood risk assessment in Europe under high end climate scenarios
Authors: ALFIERI LORENZOFEYEN LucDOTTORI FRANCESCOBIANCHI ALESSANDRA
Citation: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS vol. 35 p. 199-212
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC95475
ISSN: 0959-3780
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.004
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC95475
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: At the current rate of global warming, the target of limiting it within 2 degrees by the end of the century seems more and more unrealistic. Policymakers, businesses and organizations leading international negotiations urge the scientific community to provide realistic and accurate assessments of the possible consequences of so called “high end” climate scenarios. This study illustrates a novel procedure to assess the future flood risk in Europe under high levels of warming. It combines ensemble projections of extreme streamflow for the current century based on EURO-CORDEX RCP 8.5 climate scenarios with recent advances in European flood hazard mapping. Proposed novelties include a threshold-based evaluation of extreme event magnitude and frequency, an alternative method to removing bias in climate projections, the latest pan-European exposure maps, and an improved flood vulnerability estimation. Estimates of population affected and direct flood damages indicate that by the end of the century the socio-economic impact of river floods in Europe is projected to increase by an average 220% due to climate change only. When coherent socio-economic development pathways are included in the assessment, central estimates of population annually affected by floods range between 500,000 and 640,000 in 2050, and between 540,000 and 950,000 in 2080, as compared to 216,000 in the current climate. A larger range is foreseen in the annual flood damage, currently of 5.3 B€, which is projected to rise at 20 to 40 B€ in 2050 and 30 to100 B€ in 2080, depending on the future economic growth.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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