New research published in the journal Nature found that almost all extreme flooding across Europe could have been predicted by examining previous significant events in other parts of the continent. The study analysed data from 8,000 gauging stations across Europe from 1810 to 2021, identifying historic megafloods. The research team, which included specialists from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, found that 95.5% of megafloods could have been anticipated based on previous events at locations elsewhere on the continent with similar climate and variability.

The researchers also published research in 2019, which found that flooding is becoming increasingly severe in north-western Europe, particularly in northern England and southern Scotland, while it is decreasing in severity in southern and Eastern Europe. They advocate for a continental-scale approach to enhancing information on susceptibility to extreme floods. This will provide ‘worst-case scenarios’ to support better flood defence measures and enhance preparedness towards limiting damage from extreme flood events.


Share this story