This is the finding of a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and carried out by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquat-ic Science and Technology (Eawag), the University of Bern and the ETH Zurich. Their look into the past suggests that the frequency of flooding can be expected to wane in the central Alps.
Flooding represents a major natural hazard facing the people and in-frastructures of the Alpine region. How is the frequency of such ex-treme events likely to change over coming decades with the climatic scenarios pointing to warmer summers and lower mean precipitation levels? The study of geological archives (lake sediments), as well as a comparison with periods of higher temperatures, can help to provide a response to this question. However, both instrumental data and histor-ical documents only allow us to look back over the last few centuries.Continuous data at regional level
Based on current knowledge, climate change can be expected to favour an expansion of this high-pressure zone. Consequently, researchers believe that the frequency of flooding can be expected to decline in the central Alpine region. However, the study does not enable them to draw conclusions as to the intensity of individual floods.(*) Lukas Glur, Stefanie B. Wirth, Ulf Büntgen, Adrian Gilli, Gerald H. Haug, Christoph Schär, Jürg Beer and Flavio S. Anselmetti (2013). Frequent floods in the European Alps coincide with cooler periods of the past 2500 years Scientific Reports: doi:10.1038/srep02770
Following the embargo, the publication will be available free of charge here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep02770
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