New research has linked higher numbers of reported flooding cases in the UK to urban expansion and population growth rather than climate change.
A study from the University of Southampton looked at the rising number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years. Researchers found that whilst the number has gone up, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers.
Published in the journal Hydrological Sciences, the research notes that over the 20th century, population grew from 38.2 million to 59.1 million, whilst houses tripled from 7.7 million to 24.8 million. These figures reflect the upwards trend in reported flooding. The findings suggest that policymakers need to carefully consider land use when making decisions.
Lead author of the study Andrew Stevens explains that as a result of the changes, there were more properties and people exposed to flooding, leading to more reported flood events and larger potential damages.
The researchers added that it was difficult to assess the effectiveness of flood defences. This is because whilst artificial defences, such as the Thames Barrier, may have reduced the impact, natural flood defences could also have been reduced over time.
Professor Robert Nicholls added, “These observations should not stop concern about future flood impacts, especially in coastal areas where faster sea level rises are expected and areas potentially exposed to higher rainfall intensities.
“Future flood risk may be very sensitive to changes in funding management approaches and this has important implications for decision makers.”
The findings of the new study support the conclusions drawn in the Natural Hazards Risk Atlas. In the atlas the UK was ranked as the 42nd country most as risk for physical exposure, but high population density and land use means that economic exposure to flooding is the seventh highest globally.
However, separate research has also linked flood risk to climate change. A study presented at the European Geosciences Union conference earlier this year said climate change is increasing the risk of extreme rainfall across the UK.
Photo: Broo_am (Andy B) via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
Key Things to Remember When Building a Sustainable Home
4 Tips to Achieve Eco-friendly Business Operations
Are Vegan Shoes A Sustainable Option?
How to Be More Eco-Conscious In Your Everyday Life
Tips To Become More Sustainable At Home
Modern Log Cabins: Sustainability and Aesthetics
The Basics of Starting a Eco-Friendly DIY Project
Importance of Shore Hardness for Sustainable Hobbyists
Green Healthcare Practice Patient Data Compliance Guidelines
Guidance on Trading Bitcoin as an Eco-Friendly Investor
Why Making Your Business Sustainable Is More Important Than Ever
The Most Popular Environment-Friendly Flooring Options
Investing in the Ethical and Eco-friendly Has Never Been Easier
A Guide Transitioning to Safer and Environmentally-Friendly Chemicals
Role of HR in Sustainable Businesses
The Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Replacing Fiat Currencies
Tips To Make Air Conditioning Eco-Friendly
9 Zero Waste Gift Ideas For An Eco-Friendly 2021 Holiday
5 Reasons For Your Business To Go Green (Beyond Helping The Planet)
Tips After Buying an Electric Scooter to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
- Features10 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy10 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features9 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Invest12 months ago
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years