Rainfall changes caused by global warming will increase river flood risks across the globe. Already today, fluvial floods are among the most common and devastating natural disasters.
Scientists have now calculated the required increase in flood protection until the 2040s worldwide, breaking it down to single regions and cities. They find that the need for adaptation is greatest in the US, parts of India and Africa, Indonesia, and in Central Europe including Germany. Inaction would expose many millions of people to severe flooding.
“More than half of the United States must at least double their protection level within the next two decades if they want to avoid a dramatic increase in river flood risks,” says lead-author Sven Willner from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Without additional adaptation measures - such as enhancing dykes, improved river management, increasing building standards, or relocating settlements – the number of people affected by the worst 10 percent of all river flooding events will increase in many places: In Northern America from 0.1 to 1 million – while this seems not like a large number, it is a tenfold increase. In Germany it could rise sevenfold, from 0.1 to 0.7 million.
Continue reading at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
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