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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
In Europe around 216,000 people are exposed each year to river flooding and annual flood damage amounts to €5.3 billion. In most regions of Europe we see an increase of flood risk due to global warming. Under a 2°C global warming scenario and considering current socio-economic conditions, flood impacts could more than double, with around 525,000 people annually exposed to floods and €12.5 billion of expected annual losses. Under the RCP8.5 pathway 2°C will occur in the early 2040s, hence impacts on present society under near term (2021-2050) climate conditions are very close to those under a 2°C warming scenario. Longer term climate conditions (2071-2100) under a RCP8.5 scenario imposed on present society, on the other hand, could result in around 717,000 people annually exposed to floods while direct flood damages could see a more than three-fold increase with respect to current conditions, reaching €17.5 billion of average annual losses.