The impacts of climate change on river flood risk at the global scale


General Information:

Author: Arnell, N., Gosling, S.

Year of publication: 2014

Available languages: English

Details of Assessment:

Type of assessment: Not specified

Details: Risk assessment

Format of assessment: Scientific article

Estimated costs for conducting: No information

Estimated duration of assessment: No information

To be carried out by whom: Scientists/researchers

Institutional scale of use: Global

Assesment to be used by which target audience: No information

Output: Risk map


Coverage & Methodology:

Region of origin: Europe

Developed by which sector: Science

Applied in practice: Yes

Geographic coverage in analysis: Worldwide

Potential geographic coverage: Worldwide

Sectors covered: Agriculture, Financial sector

Details: Takes into account GDP (economic assets) and cropland (agriculture)

Method used: Quantitative model

Description of methodology: Use of indicators to assess risk: flood frequency, flood magnitude, population exposed, cropland exposed, annual flood loss. Both sets of scenarios (population and climate) are constructed by pattern-scaling the output from 21 of the climate models in the CMIP3 multi-model dataset; climate scenarios for the four SRES emissions scenarios were constructed by rescaling the climate model patterns to the change in global mean surface temperature as estimated with SRES emissions by the simple climate model MAGICC

Risk framework used: No explicit use of risk framework

Risk components incorporated: Hazard, exposure, impact / losses

Hazards and impacts considered in the assessment: Flood

Source of required data: Secondary (available data is used)

Details: The CRU TS3.1 data set is used here to characterise current climate; estimates of the numbers of people living in flood-prone areas at a spatial resolution of 0.5×0.5° were derived by combining 5′ flood-prone areas identified on the UN PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform (, with the CIESIN GRUMP population data set for the year 2000

Temporal scale: Forward looking

Details: Information given is only a relative change to today's situation

Participatory elements: No

Consideration of interconnectedness and -dependencies of risks: No

Adressing uncertainty: Yes

Details: In discussion of the paper uncertainty in models, scenarios and assumptions are explained

Scope of assessment: Identification of risks, assessment of impacts

Relevance for losses and damages:

Economic/Non-Economic losses incorporated: Non-Economic

Details: Annual flood loss is described in a non-monetary term, based on a generic function linking flood magnitude to loss

Applicability for entire risk spectrum (from extreme weather events to slow onset processes): No

Details: Only one risk considered which is short-term


Recommendations for Adaptation measures included in Climate Risk Assessment: No

Applied by whom: Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading, UK

Open access: Yes