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Changing climate shifts timing of European floods

Bloschl, Gunter; Hall, Julia; Parajka, Juraj; Perdigao, Rui A.P.; Merz, Bruno; Arheimer, Berit; Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Bilibashi, Ardian; Bonacci, Ognjen; Borga, Marco; Canjevac, Ivan; Castellarin, Attilio; Chirico, Giovanni B.; Claps, Pierluigi; Fiala, Karoly; Frolova, Natalia; Gorbochova, Liudmyla; Gul, Ali; Hannaford, Jamie; Harrigan, Shaun; Kireeva, Maria; Kiss, Andrea; Kjeldsen, Thomas R.; Khonova, Silvia; Koskela, Jarkko J.; Ledvinka, Ondrej; Macdonald, Neil; Mavrova-Guirguinova, Maria; Mediero, Luis; Merz, Ralf; Molnar, Peter; Montanari, Alberto; Murphy, Conor; Osuch, Marzena; Ovcharuk, Valeryia; Radevski, Ivan; Rogger, Magdalena; Salinas, Jose L.; Sauquet, Eric; Sraj, Mojca; Szolgay, Jan; Viglione, Alberto; Volpi, Elena; Wilson, Donna; Zaimi, Klodian; Zivkovic, Nenad. 2017 Changing climate shifts timing of European floods. Science, 357 (6351). 588-590. 10.1126/science.aan2506

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Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1126/science.aan2506
CEH Sections: Rees (from October 2014)
ISSN: 0036-8075
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 17 Aug 2017 09:47 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517604

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