As climate change continues to wreak damage by causing an increasing number of extreme weather events, a team of US researchers has uncovered even more troubling news. After examining satellite data from twice daily imaging of more than 900 individual flood events in 169 countries since 2000, they found that an additional 86 million people now live within flood-prone regions. This means the number of people exposed to floods worldwide has surged almost a quarter over the last two decades.

The team used the data to create the Global Flood Database, which provides open source information on the death toll, displacement and rainfall levels linked to each of the 913 floods.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers found that up to 86 million people, driven by economic necessity, moved into known flood regions between 2000-2015.


Unfortunately, the recent, devastating floods in India, China, Germany and Belgium, often disproportionately affecting poorer sectors of society.

A total of 2.23 million square kilometres (860,000 square miles) — more than the entire area of Greenland — were flooded between 2000 and 2018, affecting up to 290 million people. And it’s only going to get worse.

Computer modelling produced estimates that climate change and shifting demographics would mean an additional 25 countries facing a high risk of flooding by 2030.

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