Changing climate shifts timing of European floods

Gunter Bloschl, Julia Hall, Juray Parajka, Rui A. P. Perdigao, Bruno Merz, Berit Arheimer, Thomas Kjeldsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

212 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-590
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume357
Issue number6351
Early online date11 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Flooding
  • Hydrology

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    Bloschl, G., Hall, J., Parajka, J., Perdigao, R. A. P., Merz, B., Arheimer, B., & Kjeldsen, T. (2017). Changing climate shifts timing of European floods. Science, 357(6351), 588-590. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aan2506