Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria are experiencing flooding of "historic proportions," officials say. The BBC reports that Austria had the 7th wettest spring in about 150 years, saturating the ground and causing rivers to rise. The floods caused at least 15 deaths according to the AP, and more people remain missing.
As Europeans plan for recovery, the European Environment Agency has called for better flood preparedness. Hans Bruyninckx, the director of the agency, said that climate change is an "increasingly important factor" in the damages caused by flooding, but part of the problem can also be attributed to a denser population living in flood-prone areas.
They predict a rise in severe flooding:
Rising temperatures in Europe will intensify the hydrological cycle, leading to more frequent and intense floods in many regions. Although quantitative projections for flood frequency and intensity are uncertain, the contribution of climate change to the damage costs from natural disasters is expected to increase in the future due to the projected increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in many regions.