Projections of Flood Risk Conditioned on Large-Scale Climate Processes

Riverine flooding poses a major challenge to many areas of the world, yet there is limited information on historical flooding and projections of future flooding under non-stationary climate are highly uncertain. We are currently developing a two-part methodology to create projections of future flood risk conditioned on credible climate information, thus providing an essential step towards building flood resilience. First, we identify key oceanic-atmospheric mechanisms that drive floods events for a region of interest and second, we build a non-stationary model of future regional flooding conditioned on the expected evolution of those mechanisms under climate change. The methodology will be demonstrated by case studies in the Ohio River Basin and the Sahel region of West Africa. This research is being performed in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Columbia University with funding from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Research Program (SERDP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).


Image shows stream gage locations in West Africa included in this study that show a significant trend in floods over period of record