CR 64:73-84 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01299

Evaluating adaptation options for urban flooding based on new high-end emission scenario regional climate model simulations

K. Arnbjerg-Nielsen1,*, L. Leonardsen2, H. Madsen

1Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Miljovej, Building 113, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
2Copenhagen Municipality, Njalsgade 13, 1505 Copenhagen V, Denmark
3DHI, Agern Alle 5, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Climate change adaptation studies on urban flooding are often based on a model chain approach from climate forcing scenarios to analysis of adaptation measures. Previous analyses of climate change impacts in Copenhagen, Denmark, were supplemented by 2 high-end scenario simulations. These include a regional climate model projection forced to a global temperature increase of 6°C in 2100 as well as a projection based on a high radiative forcing scenario (RCP8.5). With these scenarios, projected impacts of extreme precipitation increase significantly. For extreme sea surges, the impacts do not seem to change substantially compared to currently applied projections. The flood risk (in terms of expected annual damage, EAD) from sea surge is likely to increase by more than 2 orders of magnitude in 2100 compared to the present cost. The risk from pluvial flooding in 2000 is likely to increase by almost 4 and 8 times the current EAD for the RCP8.5 and 6°C scenario, respectively. For both hazards, business-as-usual is not a possible scenario, since even in the absence of policy-driven changes, significant autonomous adaptation is likely to occur. Copenhagen has developed an adaptation plan to pluvial flooding that makes the urban areas more robust and reduces the risk of flooding under the current climate to a very low level. The reduction in flood risk for the A1B scenario is substantial (corresponding to 0.2-0.3 times the current EAD in 2100), and even in the high-end scenarios, the risk is significantly reduced (corresponding to 0.6-1.0 and 1.2-2.1 times the current EAD for the RCP8.5 and 6°C scenario, respectively).


KEY WORDS: Climate change adaptation · Pluvial flooding · High-end scenarios · Copenhagen · Precipitation · Climatic extremes


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Cite this article as: Arnbjerg-Nielsen K, Leonardsen L, Madsen H (2015) Evaluating adaptation options for urban flooding based on new high-end emission scenario regional climate model simulations. Clim Res 64:73-84. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01299

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