Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pan-European Flood Alert System (EFAS)

01.09.2004


The Directors of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC)signed a Cooperation Agreement providing the JRC with real-time access to ECMWF weather forecast products for use in the European Flood Alert System (EFAS). Both organisations will work together to develop a system for early flood warnings up to 10 days in advance. An increased warning time could help to avoid casualties and reduce flood damages.



Every year, on average, 100 European citizens die in floods. Over the period 1998 - 2002 alone, 100 major floods comprised 43% of all disaster events, causing 700 fatalities, the displacement of about half a million people, and at least 25 billion Euro in insured economic losses. In the near future, flood magnitude and flood frequency may even increase in certain regions in Europe, as predicted in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

EU action on floods


The increasing number of natural disasters, from floods, landslides and earthquakes to forest fires, has made it clear to the European Commission and Member States that effective advance action is needed to protect the environment and citizen. On 12 July, 2004, the European Commission proposed concerted EU action on flood risk management and flood prevention to improve protection against flooding.

Enhanced cooperation and planning between the European Commission (JRC, DG Environment, DG Enterprise), ECMWF, EU Member States and Accession countries is now allowing the development of measures that can be applied trans-nationally for better preparedness for oncoming flood events. Advances in weather forecasting, flood prediction models, automated data gathering from measurement stations, rainfall radars, and information technologies can now be combined to increase the flood warning time and information level for large trans-national river catchments. Following the dramatic Elbe and Danube floods of August 2002, the European Commission and European Parliament reinforced their support for the development of a European Flood Alert System, already in development at the JRC since 2000.

European Flood Alert System (EFAS)

The JRC is currently testing and refining the pan-European Flood Alert System. The aim is to provide national water and civic authorities with an early warning capability for a developing flood disaster and greater knowledge about its likely extent and development over time. Based on the computer model LISFLOOD, combining both medium-range weather forecasts from ECMWF and hydrological data from water authorities, this system will simulate the flow in many large European rivers with a lead-time of three to ten days. This will allow more time for appropriate action to prevent human casualties and reduce material losses. The system has a particular focus on large, trans-boundary river basins.

The added value of cooperation between ECMWF and the JRC
Joint research by JRC and ECMWF has already demonstrated that, for example, the large floods on the Meuse/Rhine (1993 & 1995) and Po (1994 & 2000) rivers could have been forecasted several days earlier if a system like EFAS had been available.

The new agreement will give the JRC greater access to the medium-range weather forecasts of ECMWF. The Ensemble Prediction System of ECMWF will supply 50 different 10-day forecast scenarios twice per day. These will be used to simulate river flow scenarios. It is anticipated that this System will be able to more accurately predict the risk of floods in most large European rivers from three to ten days. This will increase its usefulness to national and regional water authorities in alerting responsible staff, increasing the local flood forecasting frequency, rescheduling working shifts, and double-checking those systems and procedures involved in crisis management etc. This timely information will also improve the speed and the effectiveness of civil protection response coordinated by the Civil Protection Monitoring and Information Centre of DG Environment in conjunction with national authorities.

Next steps

The JRC, in close cooperation with ECMWF, will further develop EFAS to a mature stage. Thereafter, it will be transferred to appropriate operational services, for example, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. The JRC and ECMWF have already collaborated successfully in the past, for instance in the domain of forest fires. This cooperation is planned to be extended to other areas, including crop forecasting and air quality.

Further information:
Aidan Gilligan, Media Officer, JRC Public Relations Unit; Tel: 00 32 (0)2 2986482; Fax: 00 32 (0)2 2996322; Email: aidan.gilligan@cec.eu.int

Aidan Gilligan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jrc.org
http://natural-hazards.jrc.it/floods
http://www.ecmwf.int

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>