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Five Hundred Years of Extreme Floods in Central Europe
Mudelsee, M., Borngen, M., Tetzlaff, G. and Grunewald, U.  2004.  Extreme floods in central Europe over the past 500 years: Role of cyclone pathway "Zugstrasse Vb."  Journal of Geophysical Research 109: 10.1029/2004JD005034.

The authors note that "extreme river floods have had devastating effects in central Europe in recent years," citing as examples the Elbe flood of August 2002 that caused 36 deaths and damages totaling over 15 billion U.S. dollars, and the Oder flood of July 1997 that caused 114 deaths and approximately 5 billion dollars in damages.  What is more, they state that "concern is expressed in the Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that current anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition will add to this risk."

What was done
To see if what climate alarmists call the unprecedented warming of the 20th century may have already brought the early stages of this predicted curse upon central Europe, Mudelsee et al. reevaluated the quality of data and methods of reconstruction that had previously produced flood histories of the middle parts of the Elbe and Oder rivers back to AD 1021 and 1269, respectively.

What was learned
In describing the results of their analyses, Mudelsee et al. report finding, for both the Elbe and Oder rivers, "no significant trends in summer flood risk in the twentieth century," but "significant downward [our italics] trends in winter flood risk during the twentieth century," which phenomenon -- "a reduced winter flood risk during the instrumental period" -- they specifically describe as "a response to regional warming."

What it means
The results of this study provide no support for the IPCC "concern" that CO2-induced warming will add to the risk of river flooding in Europe.  If anything, they suggest just the opposite.

Reviewed 5 January 2005