Climate change is going to bring more river flooding, says a team of scientists who have employed no fewer than 11 separate climate models to study the decades ahead.
"Floods are among the most major climate-related disasters," writes Yukiko Hirabayashi of The University of Tokyo and lead author of a paper in the June 9 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change. "In the past decade, reported annual losses from floods have reached tens of billions of U.S. dollars and thousands of people were killed each year."
This, and the fact that the primary worldwide organization that studies such things--the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--has pointed out the need for better projections of river flooding, served as motivation for the new study.
What the researchers found was an increase in the frequency of flooding rivers in Southeast Asia, Peninsular India, eastern Africa and the northern half of the Andes. At the same time, river flood frequencies will drop in parts of northern and Eastern Europe, Anatolia, Central Asia, central North America and southern South America.