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Future impacts of river floods

Victims from river floods may triple!

The number of people exposed annually to risks from river flooding will triple in 2050!

Under moderate scenarios (2,2 degrees C by 2100, population 2100: 9,8 Billion), and assuming the same safety standards apply (e.g. 1/100 yr) without any additional adaptation measures, the number of people annually exposed to risk from river floods worldwide may grow from 39 million in 2010, to 112 million people in 2050. Under more extreme scenarios (2 degrees C by 2050, heading towards 3,7 degrees C in 2100, population 2100: 14,1 Bi), the present number may quadruple by 2050.

The area in red has the largest number of people affected annually.

Number of affected people will increase in the future

Poor people will suffer the most

Riverine floods have the highest impacts on the lives of the poor, while damaging the assets of the wealthy.

The highest rates of people affected and exposed to future risks from river floods, relative to national population, are and will be in countries in South-East Asia and Equatorial Africa. Between now and 2050, the focus of dealing with economic damage will shift from developed countries to Asia.

2050: Damages from river floods may increase 7-fold!

The average damage costs caused annually (worldwide) by river flooding may multiply 7 times in 2050, as compared to 2010.

Under moderate scenarios (2,2 degrees C in 2100, population 2100: 9,8 Bi), and assuming the same safety standards apply (e.g. 1/100 yr) without any additional adaptation measures, the damage annually from river floods worldwide may grow from 78 billion USD per year now (2010), to 560 billion USD per year in 2050.

Under more extreme scenarios (2 degrees C in 2050, heading towards 3,7 degrees C in 2100, population 2100: 14,1 Bi) the present number may increase 25-fold!

Urban damage baseline

Flood risk increases mainly due to socio-economic development

Socio-economic development results in a higher increase of flood risk compared to climate change alone!

The greatest cause of increases in flood risk resulting in urban damage comes from socio-economic growth (57%), while climate change is a lesser contributer (43%).