Blöschl, G., Hall, J., Parajka, J., Perdigão, R.A.P., Merz, B., Arheimer, B., Aronica, G.T., Bilibashi, A., Bonacci, O., Borga, M., Čanjevac, I., Castellarin, A., Chirico, G.B., Claps, P., Fiala, K., Frolova, N., Gorbachova, L., Gül, A., Hannaford, J., Harrigan, S., Kireeva, M., Kiss, A., Kjeldsen, T.R., Kohnová, S., Koskela, J.J., Ledvinka, O., Macdonald, N., Mavrova-Guirguinova, M., Mediero, L., Merz, R., Molnar, P., Montanari, A., Murphy, C., Osuch, M., Ovcharuk, V., Radevski, I., Rogger, M., Salinas, J.L., Sauquet, E., Šraj, M., Szolgay, J., Viglione, A., Volpi, E., Wilson, D., Zaimi, K. & Živković, N. (2017) Changing climate shifts timing of European floods.Science, 357(6351), 588-590. DOI:10.1126/science.aan2506 (IF2017 41,058; Q1 Multidisciplinary Sciences) NON-cE3c affiliated
A warming climate is expected to have an impact on the magnitude and timing of river floods; however, no consistent large-scale climate change signal in observed flood magnitudes has been identified so far. We analyzed the timing of river floods in Europe over the past five decades, using a pan-European database from 4262 observational hydrometric stations, and found clear patterns of change in flood timing. Warmer temperatures have led to earlier spring snowmelt floods throughout northeastern Europe; delayed winter storms associated with polar warming have led to later winter floods around the North Sea and some sectors of the Mediterranean coast; and earlier soil moisture maxima have led to earlier winter floods in western Europe. Our results highlight the existence of a clear climate signal in flood observations at the continental scale.