Modelling flood damages under climate change conditions – a case study for Germany
Abstract. The aim of the study is to analyze and discuss possible climate change impacts on flood damages in Germany. The study was initiated and supported by the German insurance sector whereby the main goal was to identify general climate-related trends in flood hazard and damages and to explore sensitivity of results to climate scenario uncertainty. The study makes use of climate scenarios regionalized for the main river basins in Germany. A hydrological model (SWIM) that had been calibrated and validated for the main river gauges, was applied to transform these scenarios into discharge for more than 5000 river reaches. Extreme value distribution has been fitted to the time series of river discharge to derive the flood frequency statistics. The hydrological results for each river reach have been linked using the flood statistics to related damage functions provided by the German Insurance Association, considering damages on buildings and small enterprises. The result is that, under the specific scenario conditions, a considerable increase in flood related losses can be expected in Germany in future, warmer, climate.