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Acute Flooding Said ‘To Double By 2050’ In Europe

A recent study published by the Independent has found that the regularity of acute flooding across the whole of Europe is predicted to double by the year of 2050. The study also found that over that same time period, there may be up to a fivefold increase in economic losses each year as a result of severe flooding.

Scientists also predict that the event of climate change and a substantial increase in heavy rainfall will account for a third of the losses experienced by Europe by mid-century. They also say that the remaining increase will be due to "more properties and infrastructure falling within flood risk areas."

In the future, it has been thought that countries belonging to Europe will need to make their resources last a lot longer in order to cope with the predicted torrential weather conditions. Brenden Jongman, lead author of study which was officially published in Nature Climate Change had this to say:

"We found that floods in Europe will be more inter-related and will cross political and national boundaries. We can do something about it if we build better flood protection and increase insurance with a stronger pan-European solidarity fund."

"It's going to be a choice for European society because those who pay out for the insurance fund may not be the same as those who benefit from it. Some will pay out to help others and some will be subsidised by those who are at less risk of flooding. In this study we brought together expertise from the fields of hydrology, economics, mathematics and climate change adaption, allowing us for the first time to comprehensively assess continental flood risk and compare the different adaption options." He said.

The study also took into consideration the cost of flooding between the years of 2000 and 2012 which came out at around 4.9 billion euro and compared it to an estimate of what the economic costs will be by 2050 which was predicted at around 23.5 billion euro. 

Dr Jongman added, "we used rainfall data both current and future projections and we calculated current water levels in rivers and what will happen to them in the future and whether they are likely to lead to inundation and flooding."

"We combined this with data on land-use and took into account existing flood protection standards which we assumed will remain stable. In the UK for instance, we found that a lot of rivers have low flood protection levels and this needs to be improved."

Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler led the computer modelling part of the study and commented, "The new study for the first time accounts for the correlation between floods in different countries. Current risk-assessment models assume that each river basin is independent. But in actuality, river flows across Europe are closely correlated, rising and falling in response to atmospheric patterns that bring rains and dry spells to large regions."

"If the rivers are flooding in Central Europe, they are likely to also be flooding Eastern European regions. We need to be prepared for larger stress in risk-financing mechanisms such as the pan-European solidarity fund, a financial tool for financing disaster recovery in the European Union."

If you're looking for a bit of advice on the topic of fire and flood restoration in relation to an incident you have recently suffered from or you're expecting a flood and don't know how to prepare please get in touch with Relko Group today through our website.