Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How should flood risk assessments be done in changing climate?

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Growing consensus on climate and land use change means that it is reasonable to assume, at the very least, that flood levels in a region may change. Then why, ask researchers in a new study, do the dominant risk assessment techniques used to decide whether to build new flood protection infrastructure nearly always start with an assumption of "no trend" in flood behavior?

Growing consensus on climate and land use change means that it is reasonable to assume, at the very least, that flood levels in a region may change. Then why, ask Rosner et al. in a new study, do the dominant risk assessment techniques used to decide whether to build new flood protection infrastructure nearly always start with an assumption of "no trend" in flood behavior?

Related Articles


In an argument grounded in an analysis of the inherent limitations of statistical analyses, the authors suggest that researchers' typical starting assumption that flood behavior is not changing -- even in the face of suspected trends in extreme events and knowledge of how difficult such trends are to detect -- causes water managers to undervalue flood protection benefits, opening the door to unnecessary losses down the line.

When researchers assume no trend, statistical errors could cause them to overlook of the risks of underpreparing for changing flood conditions. Often, potential flood damage due to underpreparedness far exceeds the potential cost of overinvesting in flood protection infrastructure. Flipping the process around, starting with an assumption that a change in flood conditions is occurring, would give critical attention to the risk of underestimating future floods, rather than only considering the risk of wasting money on unneeded infrastructure.

The authors propose a method of risk assessment that starts with the null hypothesis of "no trend" but that explicitly assesses the effect of statistical uncertainties that may cause them to misidentify real trends and the damages those trends might produce.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Rosner, Richard M. Vogel, Paul H. Kirshen. A risk-based approach to flood management decisions in a nonstationary world. Water Resources Research, 2014; 50 (3): 1928 DOI: 10.1002/2013WR014561

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "How should flood risk assessments be done in changing climate?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804123309.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, August 4). How should flood risk assessments be done in changing climate?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804123309.htm
Wiley. "How should flood risk assessments be done in changing climate?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804123309.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins