A leading academic revealed how he got a mysterious phone call asking whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts or flooding.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The planet is set to encounter a record-level amount of floods and droughts by 2050 – researchers recently announced at the European Geosciences Union’s General Assembly in Vienna.
In a study by the Joint Research Centre (JRS) – the European Commission’s in-house science service – new climate impact models are being used to determine future flood risk in Europe under conditions of climate change. With more lives predicted to be touched by this climate change-induced flooding, it is of utmost importance to accurately calculate projections of future flood events and to assess the situation that our planet faces. These projections of future flood events were then combined with data on the exposure and vulnerability of populations, in order to estimate the overall flood risk in Europe under a high-emission climate scenario. Alfieri estimated that between 500,000 and 640,000 people will be affected by river floods by 2050, increasing to 540,000 – 950,000 by 2080, as compared to 216,000 in today’s climate. Another extreme weather condition that the planet faces is drought – said to increase before the middle of the century. Droughts are predicted to grow more severe and frequent by 2050 for 13 of the 26 countries mapped by the organisation. The new study by IIASA combined five different global climate models to examine two different scenarios for future climate change – a 1°C and 3.7°C rise in temperatures by 2100. From this research, the predicted arrival date of these record-breaking droughts was found to be more uncertain in the Sahara, sub-Saharan Africa and South Australia regions, with certainty very high in southern South America and the Central United States.

Controlling the amount of seasonal water precipitation and water use, will allow us to manage both the natural and manmade causes of hydrological drought – giving us better control as the effects of climate change begin to set in. AboutThe European Geosciences Union (EGU) is Europe’s premier geosciences union, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. Droughts Since droughts are more controled by climatic factors, it is difficult to decide when a dought begins and how long it will last. Recent Droughts in the USAThe USDA publishes a drought map, which is update every 2 weeks and this allows for monitoring the timing and exent of the drought. Exceptional ConditionsSome very unusual conditions can occur in large river basins as in the case of the Mississippi River in 2012, where the headwater tributaries streamflow were all above flood stage, while most of the downstream tributaries had minimum flow because they were in an exceptional drought. These state-of-the-art models, presented by JRS scientist Lorenzo Alfieri, indicate that the change in frequency of extreme river discharge is likely to have a larger impact on the overall flood hazard than changes in their magnitude. In this study, the JRC applied the most recent climate change projections to assess future flood risk in Europe.
Yusuke Satoh, a researcher from the International institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) shared new research suggesting that some parts of the world may see unpreceded levels of drought before 2050. This technique allowed researchers to address the uncertainty of our planet, since climate change is a manmade environment issue that is difficult to accurately foresee using just one climate model. It allows policymakers and water resource managers to prepare for greater future variations in water availability, since the historical data that the hydrological structures of today are built on, will eventually become void as climate change carves new figures into the history books. She recently submitted her PhD thesis where she used Palaeomagnetism to answer questions about the early Earth’s magnetic field and plate tectonic processes.

GeoLog is the Union's official blog, which is edited by the EGU Communications Officer Laura Roberts and has a number of contributors. However, flooding is not only occuring because of increased climatic variability, but land use changes have an equal and in some cases a greater influence on stream runoff.
As a result, the extent of damage and number of people affected are expected to increase by 220% by the end of the century. Using statistical tools and dedicated analysis, flood simulation was carried out to evaluate changes in the frequency of extreme river discharge peaks. The research addressed both current and future scenarios – with the dates of 2020, 2050 and 2080 used in the socio-economic impact models of large, European river floods.
It is currently estimated at 5.3 billion EUR, set to rise to between 20 and 40 billion EUR in 2050 and to between 30 and 100 billion EUR in 2080. These new findings urge swift action to be taken to adapt reservoirs and water management policies in accordance with the depleting water resources. This drought will surpass all historical records and countries will reach TPCD at varying times – with western United States feeling the effects as early as 2017, and the Mediterranean by 2027, at current emission rates.
It is the combination of precipitation events and soil surface conditions that determine how much of the rainfall becomes surface runoff.

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