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 5000 tons of plastic released into the environment every year
12.07.2019 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Climate impact of clouds made from airplane contrails may triple by 2050
27.06.2019 | European Geosciences Union

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: MOF@SAW: Nanoquakes and molecular sponges for weighing and separating tiny masses

Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.

Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Hidden dynamics detected in neuronal networks

23.07.2019 | Life Sciences

Towards a light driven molecular assembler

23.07.2019 | Life Sciences

A torque on conventional magnetic wisdom

23.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>