Extreme European flooding could more than double costs by 2050

Climate change, floods Europe

Devastating effects by the 2013 Central European floods

A report from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) warns that losses from extreme floods in Europe could more than doubled by 2050, because of climate change and socio-economic development.

“Understanding the risk posed by large-scale floods is of growing importance an will be key for managing climate adaption”, IIASA says.
The study predicts that socio-economic growth will account for 66% of the increased risk as development leads to more buildings and infrastructure that could be damaged by flooding.

Change rainfall patterns

The remaining third of the increase will come from climate change, which is projected to change rainfall patterns in Europe. The study estimates that EU floods cost 4.9 billion euro (6,7 US dollar) a year on average from 2000 to 2012. This figure could have been increased up to 23.5 billion euro (32,2 US dollar) by the year 2050.


In addition, large events such as the 2013 floods, are likely to increase in frequency from an average of once every 16 years, to a probability of once every 10 years by 2050.
The analysis combined climate change and socio-economic development models to build a better estimate of flood risk for Europe.

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