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Our Flooded Past and Future: Old Stories, New Technologies and Responses to Future Climate Risks

gilgamesh_flood preparationFloods have wreaked havoc on communities since time immemorial, and play a significant role in the mythologies of disparate cultures, ranging from the Gilgamesh of ancient Babylon to Popol Vuh of the Mesoamerican Mayans. But while floods seem to have been prevalent in humanity’s misty past, they may play an even more prominent role in our future. (more…)

Balkan floods: an opportunity amid destruction?

Bosnia_floodsMay_2014139_lrgAfter persistent rainstorms from mid-April to mid-May, massive floods hit the economically struggling Balkan nations of Serbia and Bosnia (and to a lesser extent, Croatia). Those floods that occurred after heavy rainfall from May 14-15 have been described as “the worst in 120 years.” As of May 28, the floods were reported to have left 33 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, and swept away crops, livestock and landmines, leading to significant economic and financial losses (estimated losses of 1.3 billion euros in Bosnia alone). And according to researchers, these extreme weather events are likely to plague the region more and more in the future, as a result of a changing climate. But in responding to the disaster, and in building resilience to future events like it, there may be an opportunity to resolve long-standing tensions. (more…)