Global exposure to flooding from the new CMIP6 climate model projections

Yukiko Hirabayashi, Masahiro Tanoue, Orie Sasaki, Xudong Zhou, Dai Yamazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Estimates of future flood risk rely on projections from climate models. The relatively few climate models used to analyze future flood risk cannot easily quantify of their associated uncertainties. In this study, we demonstrated that the projected fluvial flood changes estimated by a new generation of climate models, the collectively known as Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), are similar to those estimated by CMIP5. The spatial patterns of the multi-model median signs of change (+ or −) were also very consistent, implying greater confidence in the projections. The model spread changed little over the course of model development, suggesting irreducibility of the model spread due to internal climate variability, and the consistent projections of models from the same institute suggest the potential to reduce uncertainties caused by model differences. Potential global exposure to flooding is projected to be proportional to the degree of warming, and a greater threat is anticipated as populations increase, demonstrating the need for immediate decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3740
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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