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Title: Potential influences on the United Kingdom's floods of winter 2013/14
Authors: Huntingford, Chris
Marsh, Terry
Scaife, Adam A.
Kendon, Elizabeth J.
Hannaford, Jamie
Kay, Alison L.
Lockwood, Mike
Prudhomme, Christel
Reynard, Nick S.
Parry, Simon
Lowe, Jason A.
Screen, James A.
Ward, Helen C.
Roberts, Malcolm
Stott, Peter A.
Bell, Vicky A.
Bailey, Mark
Jenkins, Alan
Legg, Tim
Otto, Friederike E.L.
Massey, Neil
Schaller, Nathalie
Slingo, Julia
Allen, Myles R.
Keywords: Atmospheric dynamics
Hydrology
Water resources
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Macmillan
Citation: HUNTINGFORD, C. ... et al., 2014. Potential influences on the United Kingdom's floods of winter 2013/14. Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2314.
Abstract: During the winter of 2013/14, much of the UK experienced repeated intense rainfall events and flooding. This had a considerable impact on property and transport infrastructure. A key question is whether the burning of fossil fuels is changing the frequency of extremes, and if so to what extent. We assess the scale of the winter flooding before reviewing a broad range of Earth system drivers affecting UK rainfall. Some drivers can be potentially disregarded for these specific storms whereas others are likely to have increased their risk of occurrence. We discuss the requirements of hydrological models to transform rainfall into river flows and flooding. To determine any general changing flood risk, we argue that accurate modelling needs to capture evolving understanding of UK rainfall interactions with a broad set of factors. This includes changes to multiscale atmospheric, oceanic, solar and sea-ice features, and land-use and demographics. Ensembles of such model simulations may be needed to build probability distributions of extremes for both pre-industrial and contemporary concentration levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases.
Description: Closed access.
Sponsor: C.H., T.M., J.H., A.L.K., C.P., N.S.R., S.P., H.C.W., V.A.B., M.B. and A.J. at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology were supported by the NERC National Capability fund. A.A.S., E.J.K., J.A.L., M.R., P.A.S., T.L. and J.S. at the Met Office were supported by the Joint UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101). River-flow data were obtained from the UK National River Flow Archive. J.A.S. was funded by NERC grant NE/J019585/1. C.H. was funded by the NERC HYDRA project.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2314
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/22130
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2314
ISSN: 1758-678X
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Geography)

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