A European flood risk model and its use for analyzing climate change adaptation strategies

Andreas Burzel, Friederike Holz, Hessel C. Winsemius, Karin de Bruijn, Laurens M. Bouwer

Wednesday 1 july 2015

12:15 - 12:30h at South America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Flood risk management and adaptation, (ST) Flood risk assessment

Parallel session: 9J. Floodrisk - Assessment

With respect to climate change, there is an increasing attention in scientific and policy making communities of weather-related disaster risks. Moreover, there is increasing need to assess costs and benefits of climate adaptation at scales beyond river basins, in order to set priorities for action and financing in the context of the EU Adaptation Strategy at the European scale. The goal of this research as part of the FP7 BASE project is to develop a riverine flood risk model that can be applied at Pan-European scale and that is able to project changes in flood risk due to climate change and socio-economic developments in the future. For this purpose, the global flood hazard estimation method developed by Winsemius et al. (2013), that produces return period flood inundation datasets at 30 arc second resolution, for present day (EU WATCH) and future climate forcing (IPCC scenarios RCP4.5 and 8.5). These datasets are used for the land-used based assessment of flood impacts. In addition, the current standard of flood protection as firstly applied in Jongman et al. (2014) is considered in this European flood risk model. Compared to previous studies, the high resolution of both hazard and exposure input data as well as the use of the CLC 2006 dataset and the consideration of GDP up to the NUTS3 level allow for a detailed assessment of current and future flood risks. The results show the expected changes in flood risk in the future. For example, on a NUTS2 level, flood risk increases in some regions up to 179% (between the baseline scenario 1960-1999 and time slice 2049). On country level flood risk increases up to 60% for selected climate models. Further results of this flood risk analysis on a European scale will be shown at the conference. The results will be critically discussed under the aspect of major uncertainties in both future flood hazards as well as in the applied depth-damage functions. As part of the current research, the results from this study are compared with flood risk assessments on either local or regional scales. The findings from this analysis will be also presented at the conference.