A warming climate is expected to have an impact on the magnitude and timing of river floods; however, no consistent large-scale climate change signal in observed flood magnitudes has been identified so far. We analyzed the timing of river floods in Europe over the past five decades, using a pan-European database from 4262 observational hydrometric stations, and found clear patterns of change in flood timing. Warmer temperatures have led to earlier spring snowmelt floods throughout northeastern Europe; delayed winter storms associated with polar warming have led to later winter floods around the North Sea and some sectors of the Mediterranean coast; and earlier soil moisture maxima have led to earlier winter floods in western Europe. Our results highlight the existence of a clear climate signal in flood observations at the continental scale.
- Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering - Senior Lecturer
- Research Unit for Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience (WEIR)
- Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC)
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa)
- Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI)
- Centre for Infrastructure, Geotechnical and Water Engineering Research (IGWE)
Person: Research & Teaching