Anthropogenic climate change has changed frequency of past flood during 2010-2013

Yukiko Hirabayashi, Haireti Alifu, Dai Yamazaki, Yukiko Imada, Hideo Shiogama, Yuki Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The ongoing increases in anthropogenic radiative forcing have changed the global water cycle and are expected to lead to more intense precipitation extremes and associated floods. However, given the limitations of observations and model simulations, evidence of the impact of anthropogenic climate change on past extreme river discharge is scarce. Here, a large ensemble numerical simulation revealed that 64% (14 of 22 events) of floods analyzed during 2010-2013 were affected by anthropogenic climate change. Four flood events in Asia, Europe, and South America were enhanced within the 90% likelihood range. Of eight snow-induced floods analyzed, three were enhanced and four events were suppressed, indicating that the effects of climate change are more likely to be seen in the snow-induced floods. A global-scale analysis of flood frequency revealed that anthropogenic climate change enhanced the occurrence of floods during 2010-2013 in wide area of northern Eurasia, part of northwestern India, and central Africa, while suppressing the occurrence of floods in part of northeastern Eurasia, southern Africa, central to eastern North America and South America. Since the changes in the occurrence of flooding are the results of several hydrological processes, such as snow melt and changes in seasonal and extreme precipitation, and because a climate change signal is often not detectable from limited observation records, large ensemble discharge simulation provides insights into anthropogenic effects on past fluvial floods. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalProgress in Earth and Planetary Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • Event attribution
  • Floods
  • Large ensemble numerical simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthropogenic climate change has changed frequency of past flood during 2010-2013'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this