Climate variability linked to extreme floods in Europe

3 August 2017

A study by climate researcher Gabriela Guimarães Nobre (IVM-VU) and colleagues shows that large-scale natural climate variability is linked to extreme rainfall and flood occurrence in large areas of Europe. This study is one of the first connecting the influence of large-scale climate variability to flood damage.

The research team investigated whether large-scale natural climate variability is linked to more/less frequent and intense extreme rainfall, and higher/lower anomalies in flood occurrence and damage.

Guimarães Nobre and colleagues found that positive and negative phases of North Atlantic Oscillation and Eastern Atlantic pattern are associated with more (or less) frequent and intense seasonal extreme rainfall over large areas of Europe, and that the influence of El Nino Southern Oscillation is fairly limited but still significant.

Flood occurrence

The study also shows that Flood Damage and Flood Occurrence have strong links with climate variability, especially in southern and eastern Europe. Gabriela Guimarães Nobre is PhD researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM-VU) and part of Amsterdam Water Science. 

Publication details

G Guimarães Nobre, B Jongman, J Aerts and P J Ward: 'The role of climate variability in extreme floods in Europe.' (2 August 2017 in Environmental Research Letters)

Published by  IBED Water