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Noon seminar - Changes in flooding in the 21st century

Monday, April 15, 2019, 12:15PM - 1:15PM


Albert Kettner



SEEC room S228


Every year, floods directly impact ~1.4 billion people, more than any other natural hazard. Floods occur both in developed as well as less developed countries, and flooding is the most common hazard worldwide. Over the last decade, floods caused circa 100,000 fatalities and contributed to a global-average annual loss of $100 billion. Number of people affected and financial losses are likely to increase as the population and economic value of material assets in flood‐prone zones is rising. Additional changes in baseline conditions like climate, drainage basin properties, river modifications, etc, will likely amplify this trend.

Here, I present model analysis of projected change in river flood discharges due to climate change for the end of the 21st century. I employ a simulated climate scenario of 2070–2099, forced by RCP4.5, a moderate adaptation pathway, as input for a global water balance model. When analyzing the spatial distribution of flooded river reaches by the end of the 21st century, we found similar patterns for all continents: a decrease in the percentage of river reaches that are affected by flooding for moderate to larger recurrence intervals (10–100 years). In contrast, both floods with small recurrence intervals (5–10 years) and floods with much larger return periods (100–200 years) will increase significantly.

Coffee hour

Coffee and cookies will be served starting at 11:45 a.m. outside S228.


Free and open to the public.