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Journal Article

Drivers of future fluvial flood risk change for residential buildings in Europe


Steinhausen,  Max
External Organizations;


Paprotny,  Dominik
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Dottori,  Francesco
External Organizations;

Sairam,  Nivedita
External Organizations;

Mentaschi,  Lorenzo
External Organizations;

Alfieri,  Lorenzo
External Organizations;

Lüdtke,  Stefan
External Organizations;

Kreibich,  Heidi
External Organizations;

Schröter,  Kai
External Organizations;

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Steinhausen, M., Paprotny, D., Dottori, F., Sairam, N., Mentaschi, L., Alfieri, L., Lüdtke, S., Kreibich, H., Schröter, K. (2022): Drivers of future fluvial flood risk change for residential buildings in Europe. - Global Environmental Change, 76, 102559.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_27251
Flooding is the most costly natural hazard in Europe. Climatic and socioeconomic change are expected to further increase the amount of loss in the future. To counteract this development, policymaking, and adaptation planning need reliable large-scale risk assessments and an improved understanding of potential risk drivers. In this study, recent datasets for hazard and flood protection standards are combined with high resolution exposure projections and attributes of vulnerability derived from open data sources. The independent and combined influence of exposure change and climate scenarios rcp45 and rcp85 on fluvial flood risk are evaluated for three future periods centered around 2025, 2055 and 2085. Scenarios with improved and neglected private precaution are examined for their influence on flood risk using a probabilistic, multivariable flood loss model — BN-FLEMOps — to estimate fluvial flood losses for residential buildings in Europe. The results on NUTS-3 level reveal that urban centers and their surrounding regions are the hotspots of flood risk in Europe. Flood risk is projected to increase in the British Isles and Central Europe throughout the 21st century, while risk in many regions of Scandinavia and the Mediterranean will stagnate or decline. Under the combined effects of exposure change and climate scenarios rcp45, rcp85, fluvial flood risk in Europe is estimated to increase seven-fold and ten-fold respectively until the end of the century. Our results confirm the dominance of socioeconomic change over climate change on increasing risk. Improved private precautionary measures would reduce flood risk in Europe on an average by 15%. The quantification of future flood risk in Europe by integrating climate, socioeconomic and private precaution scenarios provides an overview of risk drivers, trends, and hotspots. This large-scale comprehensive assessment at a regional level resolution is valuable for multi-scale risk-based adaptation planning.