Today: Mon 21 Aug 2017

Climate change shifts timing of European floods

A study conducted by TU Wien and 30 European partners shows that the timing of the floods has shifted across much of Europe, dramatically in some areas. When a major flood event occurs it is often attributed to climate change. However, a single event is not proof, and so far it has been unclear whether climate change has a direct influence on river floods at large scales in Europe.

A large international project led by Prof. Guenter Bloeschl from the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at TU Wien has now collected and analysed 50 years of data from over 4,000 hydrometric stations from 38 European countries. This is an unprecedented dataset in terms of coverage across Europe and the sheer number and diversity of river systems that have been included.

The result: Climate change has a real impact on flood events in some regions. This has been seen by a shift in the timing of floods over the years. Depending on the cause of the flood events, they occur earlier in some regions, in others they occur later. The results have now been published in Science journal.

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