Climate change is shifting when Europe’s rivers flood

Climate change is shifting when Europe’s rivers flood

Across Europe, rivers aren’t flooding when they used to.  Some rivers now flood days, weeks or even months earlier than they did a half-century ago. Other areas now flood much later than before. Long-term changes in climate — in temperatures and precipitation — underlie these shifts. That’s the conclusion of a new study.  Floods are a part of life in many areas. But knowing when floods are most likely to hit allows people to plan and adapt. Farmers may consider floods when deciding when to plant or harvest crops. City planners may use flood predictions when designing storm sewers and other water systems. Shifts in the flood season also may have negative impacts on people, wildlife and farms near rivers.

Earlier studies had suggested climate change would likely increase the severity and frequency of coastal floods. But it can be tricky to link river flooding to climate change, notes Günter Blöschl. He is a hydrologist in Austria at the Vienna University of Technology. (Hydrologists study water systems in the environment.)

Sea level rise is the primary cause of……

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