Flood Risk in a Changing Climate: A Multilevel Approach for Risk Management

  • Stefan Hochrainer-StiglerEmail author
  • Georg Pflug
  • Nicola Lugeri
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 32)


Many regions in Europe are vulnerable to the expected increase in the frequency and intensity of climate related hazards, and partly for this reason adaptation to climate change is moving to the forefront of EU and national policy. Yet, little is known about the changing risks of floods and other weather hazards, or about possible adaptation options under these dynamic conditions. Based on a risk modeling approach this chapter presents results on estimating changing flood losses for Hungary, including the Tisza region, which is highly exposed to flooding. We examine two generic options for managing the risks, including investments in risk reduction measures and investments in insurance or other risk-transfer instruments. The analysis distinguishes between different layers of risk (high and low consequence), which provides insights on allocating between risk reduction and risk transfer.


Flood risk Climate change Adaptation Risk layer approach Hungary Tisza region 


  1. Alcamo J, Moreno JM, Nováky B, Bindi M, Corobov R, Devoy RJN et al (2007) Europe. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 541–580Google Scholar
  2. Barredo JI, Lavalle C, De Roo A (2005) European flood risk mapping. EC DGJRC, 2005 S.P.I.05.151.ENGoogle Scholar
  3. Compton KL, Faber R, Ermolieva TY, Linnerooth-Bayer J, Nachtnebel H-P (2009) Uncertainty and disaster risk management: modeling the flash flood risk to Vienna and its subway system. IIASA research report, RR-09-002, Laxenburg, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  4. Dankers R, Feyen L (2008) Climate change impact on flood hazard in Europe: an assessment based on high resolution climate simulations. J Geophys Res 113:D19105. doi: 10.1029/2007JD009719 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Roo A (1998) Modelling runoff and sediment transport in catchments using GIS. GIS applications in hydrology. Hydrol Process 12:905–922CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. EEA (2000) CORINE land cover technical guide, European Environment Agency, Technical report 40.
  7. Grossi P, Kunreuther H (eds) (2005) Catastrophe modeling: a new approach to managing risk. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Hirabayashi Y, Kanae S, Emori S, Oki T, Kimoto M (2008) Global projections of changing risks of floods and droughts in a changing climate. Hydrol Sci J 53:754–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hochrainer S (2006) Macroeconomic risk management against natural disasters. German University Press, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  10. Hochrainer S, Mechler R (2009) Report on Europe’s financial and economic vulnerability to meteorological extremes. A.2.3. Final deliverable, ADAM, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  11. Hochrainer S, Lugeri N, Radziejewski M (2012) Up-scaling of impact dependent loss distributions: a hybrid-convolution approach (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  12. IPCC (2000) IPCC special report: emissions scenarios. Summary for policymakers. UNEP/WPO, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  13. Kovacs GZ (2006) Flood control in Hungary – position paper. In: Van Alphen J, van Beek E, Taal M (eds) Floods, from defence to management. Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 157–163Google Scholar
  14. Kundzewicz ZW, Mechler R (2010) Assessing adaptation to extreme weather events in Europe. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 15:612–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kundzewicz ZB, Lugeri B, Dankers R, Hirabayashi Y, Doell P, Pinskwar I, Dysarz T, Hochrainer S, Matczak P (2010) Assessing river flood risk and adaptation in Europe – review of projections for the future. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 15(7):641–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lindell MK, Perry RW (2004) Communicating environmental risk in multiethnic communities. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  17. Linnerooth-Bayer J, Quijano-Evans S, Löfstedt R, Elahi S (2001) The uninsured elements of natural catastrophic losses: seven case studies of earthquake and flood disasters, summary report. Project funded by the UK Tsunami fund, IIASA, Laxenburg, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  18. Lugeri N, Lavalle C, Hochrainer S, Bindi M, Moriondo M (2009) An assessment of weather-related risks in Europe. A.2.1. Final deliverable. ADAM, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  19. Lugeri N, Kundzewicz ZB, Genovese E, Hochrainer S, Radziejewski M (2010) River flood risk and adaptation in Europe – assessment of the present status. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 15(7):621–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mechler R (2004) Natural disaster risk management and financing disaster losses in developing countries. Verlag Versicherungswirtschaft GmbH, KarlsruheGoogle Scholar
  21. Mechler R, Hochrainer S, Pflug G, Lotsch A, Williges K (2009) Assessing the financial vulnerability to climate-related natural hazards. Policy research working paper. 5232, World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  22. MMC (2005) Natural hazard mitigation saves: an independent study to assess the future savings from mitigation activities, vol 2, Study documentation. Multihazard Mitigation Council, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel of climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. Pflug G, Römisch W (2007) Modelling, measuring and managing risk. World Scientific, SingaporeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rescher N (1983) Risk: a philosophical introduction to the theory of risk evaluation and management. University Press of America, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Georg Pflug
    • 1
  • Nicola Lugeri
    • 2
  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.Istituto Superiore Protezione e Ricerca AmbientaleRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations