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Bristol and NASA call for international co-operation on global-scale flood model

Image of flooding

20 March 2014

Industry, governments and humanitarian agencies should come together to support the development of a global flood model, researchers say.

Professor Paul Bates and Dr Jeff Neal of the School of Geographical Sciences along with colleagues at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab have issued a call in the journal Nature for international co-operation to develop a high resolution and accuracy global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in order to strengthen protection against damaging floods.

By 2050 worldwide annual losses due to flooding are predicted to reach US$1 trillion, yet current global DEMs cannot resolve the detail of terrain features that control flooding and hence do not allow flood risk to be predicted accurately in many countries.

A global-scale DEM would have an enormous impact on finance (such as flood re-insurance), humanitarian services (such as disaster relief) and scientific research.


'Fight floods on a global scale' by Guy J.-P. Schumann, Paul D. Bates, Jeffrey C. Neal & Konstantinos M. Andreadis in Nature

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