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Coping with variability and change: Floods and droughts

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Floods and droughts are natural phenomena for which the risks of occurrence are likely to continue to grow. Increasing levels of exposure and insufficient adaptive capacity are among the factors responsible for the rising vulnerability. The former is conditioned by anthropopressure (e.g., economic development of flood–prone areas) and adverse effects of climate change; scenarios for future climates indicate the possibility of amplified water–related extremes. This article presents the current situation of coping with extreme hydrological events within the pressure–state–response framework. Among promising response strategies, the role of forecast and warning, and of watershed management are reviewed. Sample success stories and lessons learnt related to hydrological extremes are given and policy implications discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Poznan, Poland, and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam, Germany, 2: Mahanakorn University of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 3: Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany, 4: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam, Germany, 5: University of Washington, Seattle, USA, 6: Potsdam, Germany, 7: University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Publication date: 01 November 2002

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