Réf. Barredo 2009 - A

Référence bibliographique complète

 BARREDO, J.I. 2009. Normalised flood losses in Europe: 1970–2006. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 9, 97–104. [Etude en ligne]

Abstract: This paper presents an assessment of normalised flood losses in Europe for the period 1970–2006. Normalisation provides an estimate of the losses that would occur if the floods from the past take place under current societal conditions. Economic losses from floods are the result of both societal and climatological factors. Failing to adjust for time-variant socio-economic factors produces loss amounts that are not directly comparable over time, but rather show an ever-growing trend for purely socio-economic reasons. This study has used available information on flood losses from the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) and the Natural Hazards Assessment Network (NATHAN). Following the conceptual approach of previous studies, we normalised flood losses by considering the effects of changes in population, wealth, and inflation at the country level. Furthermore, we removed inter-country price differences by adjusting the losses for purchasing power parities (PPP). We assessed normalised flood losses in 31 European countries. These include the member states of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Results show no detectable sign of human-induced climate change in normalised flood losses in Europe. The observed increase in the original flood losses is mostly driven by societal factors.

Mots-clés

 

 

Organismes / Contact

European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Via E. Fermi 2749, TP-261, 21020 Ispra, Italy (jose.barredo@jrc.it)

 

(1) - Paramètre(s) atmosphérique(s) modifié(s)

(2) - Elément(s) du milieu impacté(s)

(3) - Type(s) d'aléa impacté(s)

(3) - Sous-type(s) d'aléa

Températures, Précipitations…

Hydrologie

Crues et inondations

 

 

Pays / Zone

Massif / Secteur

Site(s) d'étude

Exposition

Altitude

Période(s) d'observation

 

 

Flood disaster economic losses were assessed in 31 European countries, including the member states of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 

 

 1970–2006

 

(1) - Modifications des paramètres atmosphériques

Reconstitutions

 

Observations

 

Modélisations

 

Hypothèses

 

 

Informations complémentaires (données utilisées, méthode, scénarios, etc.)

 

 

(2) - Effets du changement climatique sur le milieu naturel

Reconstitutions

 

Observations

 

Modélisations

 

Hypothèses

 

 

Sensibilité du milieu à des paramètres climatiques

Informations complémentaires (données utilisées, méthode, scénarios, etc.)

 

 

 

(3) - Effets du changement climatique sur l'aléa

Reconstitutions

 

Observations

[Review] : Despite the existing evidence [see details and references in the study] of changes in temperature and precipitation in Europe (Alcamo et al., 2007; Rosenzweig et al., 2007; Trenberth et al., 2007) there is no conclusive evidence for a climate-related trend for hydrologic floods either on a continental or a regional scale in Europe (Glaser and Stangl, 2003; Mudelsee et al., 2003; Lindström and Bergström, 2004; Kundzewicz et al., 2005, 2007; Macklin and Rumsby, 2007). This supports the hypothesis that a positive trend in the increase of flood losses should be attributed to societal shifts in the exposed areas.

This study showed that there is no evidence of a clear positive trend in normalised flood losses in Europe. […] Normalisation eliminates the influence of changes in exposure to floods and reveals that most of the increase observed in the original nominal flood losses is due to socioeconomic shifts. Since the 1970s Europe has registered an increasing standard of living, real per capita wealth and population. As a consequence, exposure of people and assets in flood-prone areas has been ever growing. Nevertheless, also natural variability may have played a role in the loss trends. It may have an influence in the frequency of floods over time.

Modélisations

In addition based on the latest climate predictions for the coming decades (Dankers and Feyen, 2008), climate change may very likely result in an increase of flood losses in Europe.

Hypothèses

 In a hypothetical scenario without climate change, flood losses would continue to increase as a consequence of societal and economic factors.

 

Paramètre de l'aléa

Sensibilité des paramètres de l'aléa à des paramètres climatiques

Informations complémentaires (données utilisées, méthode, scénarios, etc.)

 

 

Data on flood losses is neither comprehensive nor standardised throughout Europe (Mitchell, 2003). The limitations of global spatial and thematic information on floods over long periods has been often noted [see references in the study]. Nevertheless, some effort has been made towards the collection of such information. The Emergency Events Database (EMDAT) is one of the main public global databases for natural disasters. It contains core information on several key indicators for natural disasters, including economic damage caused. Another publicly accessible global database on natural disasters is the Natural Hazards Assessment Network (NATHAN) of the reinsurance firm Munich Re. NATHAN is a global catalogue of significant natural-disaster economic losses. This study has used available information on flood disasters from the EM-DAT and NATHAN. [see details in the study]

 

(4) - Remarques générales

Policy makers should not expect an unequivocal answer to questions concerning the linkage between flood-disaster losses and anthropogenic climate change, as this field will very likely remain an important area of research for years to come. Longer time-series of losses are necessary for more conclusive results. Policy making in the field of natural disasters should be supported by long-term accurate data and assessments. However, current records of disaster losses are generally of poor quality, which may introduce significant bias in the resulting trends. The monitoring of losses from floods and other weather-driven disasters should therefore become a priority over the coming years in order to produce updated information about the role of human-induced climate change in the trends regarding disaster losses. [see references in the study]

 

(5) - Syntèses et préconisations

 

Références citées :

Alcamo, J., Moreno, J. M., Nováky, B., Bindi, M., Corobov, R., Devoy, R. J. N., Giannakopoulos, C., Martin, E., Olesen, J. E., and Shvidenko, A.: Europe. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, in: Contribution ofWorking Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Parry, M. L., Canziani, O. F., Palutikof, J. P., van der Linden, P. J., and Hanson, C. E., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 541–580, 2007.

Dankers, R. and Feyen, L.: Climate change impact on flood hazard in Europe: An assessment based on high-resolution climate simulations, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D19105, doi:10.1029/2007JD009719, 2008.

Glaser, R. and Stangl, H.: Historical floods in the Dutch Rhine Delta, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 3, 605–613, 2003,.

Lindström, G. and Bergström, S.: Runoff trends in Sweden 1807–2002, Hydrolog. Sci. J., 49, 69–83, 2004.

Kundzewicz, Z. W., Graczyk, D., Maurer, T., Piskwar, I., Radziejewski, M., Svensson, C., and Szwed, M.: Trend detection in river flow series: 1. Annual maximum flow, Hydrolog. Sci. J., 50, 797–810, 2005.

Kundzewicz, Z. W., Mata, L. J., Arnell, N. W., D¨oll, P., Kabat, P., Jim´enez, B., Miller, K. A., Oki, T., Sen, Z., and Shiklomanov, I. A.: Freshwater resources and theirmanagement. Climate Change 2007, in: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Parry, M. L., Canziani, O. F., Palutikof, J. P., van der Linden, P. J., and Hanson, C. E., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 173–210, 2007.

Macklin, M. G. and Rumsby, B. T.: Changing climate and extreme floods in the British uplands, T. I. Brit. Geogr., 32, 168–186, 2007.

Mitchell, J. K.: European River Floods in a Changing World, Risk Anal., 23, 567–574, 2003.

Mudelsee, M., Borngen, M., Tetzlaff, G., and Grunewald, U.: No upward trends in the occurrence of extreme floods in central Europe, Nature, 425, 166–169, 2003.

Rosenzweig, C., Casassa, G., Karoly, D. J., Imeson, A., Liu, C., Menzel, A., Rawlins, S., Root, T. L., Seguin, B., and Tryjanowski, P.: Assessment of observed changes and responses in natural and managed systems, in: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability in: Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Parry, M. L., Canziani, O. F., Palutikof, J. P., van der Linden, P. J., and Hanson, C. E., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 79–131, 2007.

Trenberth, K. E., Jones, P. D., Ambenje, P., Bojariu, R., Easterling, D., Klein Tank, A., Parker, D., Rahimzadeh, F., Renwick, J. A., Rusticucci, M., Soden, B., and Zhai, P.: Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, in: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Solomon, S., Qin, D., Manning, M., Chen, Z., Marquis, M., Averyt, K. B., Tignor, M., and Miller, H. L., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 235–336, 2007.