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New Research: Global Flood Hotspots, and Climate Resilience


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The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have launched a project “focused on identifying the global flood hotspots for climate mitigation studies and mapping flood risks areas using satellite remote-sensing datasets.” An interesting, though not necessarily surprising, set of findings from the research:

A total of 3,996 global flood events have been recorded in between 1900 and 2011. India ranks first on the list, followed by China, United States, Indonesia and Philippines. It is found that Asia and Africa continuously recorded the highest percentage of annual flooding events followed by Southeast Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. The relationship between flood location and impact statistics has been investigated at two levels: continent-wise and region-wise. On an average, floods in Asia results in 1.21% mortality, but in reality, they affect more people than floods in other continents. This is mainly because floods in Asia impact substantially larger areas with higher population.

The researchers also make recommendations for building climate resilience in these flood hotspots:

The results from hotspot analysis suggest that more climate risk investments are needed to minimize risk reduction and such investments are more likely to have the biggest payoff in terms of reduced losses. However, still there is a need to learn on how to use such information for disaster risk reduction and mitigation measures. The mapping of spatial-based flood risk areas using remote-sensing would help in successful efforts to reduce risks, create greater potential for risk transfer through insurance and other mechanisms.

In all, this research has uncovered what is potentially a very useful data set for both disaster risk reduction practitioners, and those concerned with reducing climate risk.

See the CGIAR website for more.

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