The project CRISIS (Coastal flood risk in Europe and the socio-economic impacts in a changing climate) started in March 2016. It is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework as an Individual Fellowship within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions for two years.

Impact assessment models, such as the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) model, have been used extensively to assess the socio-economic impacts associated with coastal flooding under climate change and to explore the benefits of mitigation, adaptation, and migration. However, because DIVA is applied at broad scales, it is based on a number of significant assumptions. Most notably, present-day return water levels (one of the key forcing parameters in the model) were derived using a simple global approach. I am currently using a new quasi-global tide gauge data set (GESLA-2) to test how results from using different extreme value models can vary (today and when including future sea level rise) in different regions of the world and if there is one method that performs best. I am coordinating these efforts with the DIVA development team to improve the representation of storm surges in the model. We will then test, for Europe as an example, how exposure and impact variables as well as adaptation costs are affected be the advancements.

Large-scale flood impact studies typically focus either on river flooding or coastal flooding, ignoring that in estuaries and deltas both can interact leading to what we call compound flooding. After our initial study for the U.S., where we used precipitation observations as a proxy, I am now collaborating with colleagues in the Department of Water and Climate Risk of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands to investigate compound flooding from storm surges and river floods globally. For this we use both global observational data sets and model hindcasts.

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