Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Multiple factors contribute to flooding

PhyOrg: Extreme events, such as floods or droughts, are caused by multiple factors - and must therefore be studied from many different perspectives. This is what international experts on water and climate research call for in the current issue of a renowned scientific journal. The Doctoral Program "Water Resource Systems", which is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, is considered a precursor for interdisciplinary approach in this field. Thanks to the interactive education it offers, graduates from the program are able to solve complex problems facing water research.

Torrential rains, floods and record flood tides in some places; catastrophic droughts in others - one water-related disaster seems to follow the next in rapid succession. Many attribute the increasing occurrence of such extreme events to climate change. However, if indeed, and in that case, to what extent, global warming is actually the cause, has not been exhaustively investigated. One thing is nevertheless clear: if at all involved, global warming is only one of many causes of water-related natural phenomena, as such crises stem from several different factors. Which is why extensive research can only be conducted using an interdisciplinary approach - something that experts on hydrology and climate research call for in a recent publication in an internationally-renowned academic journal.

…Professor Blöschl of the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at the Vienna University of Technology explains the necessity of interdisciplinary research: "Water-related problems, such as floods, stem from a wide range of factors: rapidly increasing water demands due to demographic growth and changing lifestyles, the depletion of freshwater resources due to environmental pollution, and the poor distribution of freshwater in relation to needs and demand. Land use planning and hydrological constructions also have a great impact. Due to this complexity, it is not useful to investigate climate, water and people in their isolated disciplines." ….

Flood protection against the Danube in Novi Sad, Serbia, by Goran.Smith2.

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