Review on The Flooding of The UK

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About this sample


Words: 1109 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

Words: 1109|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

The paper ‘Geographies of the UK flooding in 2013/4’ by Thorne (2014) was selected, as it relates to a great interest of this writer which is rivers, river flooding and the geography behind it.

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The paper’s context is about the flooding of the UK during 2013 and 2014 and considers the impacts these floods had on the UK. It refers to the impacts as different aspects of geographies, by comparing both years of winter floods, the scale of the impact, and the different types of impacts they have on the community. These include the social, economic, political, and environmental impacts in both the short and long-term. Along with this, the paper also discusses both the rural and urban impacts on the area. A key measure of flooding in an area is by knowing how much precipitation it receives in this drainage basin. From here, you can then determine, along with the areas topography, whether a river area is likely to flood, and approximately by how much.

Historical development of the concept – flooding

Flooding has become an increasingly important and major concern, in terms of the historical effects it has had in the past – mention past floods, impacts, and strategies. It is apparent that the weather around many areas around the UK, and other parts of Europe and the world, and changing, and in the UK's case, becoming more extreme. It appears that as the weather has become more extreme over the years, there has been a larger number of people affected and injured during the flooding events. The difficulty is being able to bridge the gap between climate scientists and the wider society, which they hope to improve, as stated by Matthews (2016). However, the problem has increased in both the natural, with rivers becoming more frequently flooded, and in the social, with more homes being built around floodplains and coastal areas, as a result of the aesthetics of the area and the increased population of the UK. The topography and geology of the area can also determine how high the risk of flooding is for areas near to, or within, river and coastal basins.

Mathews (2016) stated that the 1900-2014 period records suggest a greater than the 50-fold increased chance of the warmest summer, recorded in 1995. Also, the likelihood of the 1994/95 wettest winter has respectively doubled since 1850. Thorne (2014) stated that River flood risk could double or triple by 2080, in comparison to 2000, depending on future greenhouse gas emissions. Sea-level rise could influence the probability of coastal flooding by a factor between 4 and 10. Contrary to previous research, we find no evidence for increased wintertime storminess as the Irish climate warms, but caution that this conclusion may be an artifact of the metric employed stated by Matthews (2016). In addition to this, Thorne (2014) also states that the increased daily rainfall rates don’t provide evidence to counter this, despite climate change gainsayer protests.

Human impacts on the environment

The effects of the environment on human society can be just as hazardous as nature’s natural hazards, like flooding on human society, infrastructure, economy and urban environment. The human effects on the environment tend to be greater around river and inland areas, than around coastal areas, as there is a smaller area to build upon. Along with houses flooding and damaged and roads being eroded and damaged. There is also environmental and agricultural loss, including flooding of fields and spoiling to crops. This leads to long-term concerns for food security. Agricultural practice can also increase the frequency of downstream flooding. Despite this, the agricultural building has been increasing on floodplains, due to the high demand for food, and need of land for agricultural purposes. An agricultural loss tends, however, to be local rather than national. Conversely, Thorne (2014) mentions that the management of agriculture, despite exasperating flood risk, can actually mitigate the risk instead. The can be done through sustainable intensive farming.

Feyen (2012) mentions that another effect on the environment is the deforestation of surrounding forest areas, and the building of urban areas and urban expansion. These two effects have a knock-on effect on the risk of flooding, with the deforestation increasing surface runoff from river areas, and is also mentioned, in terms of agricultural surface runoff, a sign of urbanization, by Thorne (2014).

Over the years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of houses built around floodplain and coastal area, due to high population demand. The impacts on the environment have, are that as well as many resources being excavated for building houses, from the environment, there is also natural habitat and agricultural loss, with houses taking up a lot of the lands space, especially around coastal and river floodplain areas. – use paper to relate to this.

Flooding impacts and geography – political, economic, environmental and social

Thorne (2014) states that the causes of the majorly severe winter storms were deep atmospheric depressions. The after the result of the storms was that two opposite groups of people who both blamed others for the destruction of their areas. One group blamed the government, and the other group blamed the farmers and agriculture.

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Thorne (2014) points out that the consequences and after effects of flooding are felt more in urban areas, since there are a larger economic, political and social breakage and loss, in terms of mobility, infrastructure, and money. It has also been recognized that the choices people and communities take will either amplify or mitigate the level of risk that flooding brings to them. Coastal and river areas, as shown in figure 1, are prone to flooding, with the middle and south-east of England, along with the coastlines of the UK, receiving the highest rainfall amounts. Historically groundwater flooding has accounted for only 1% of annual flood damages. This is a small percentage, in comparison to Bangladesh, where flooding and monsoons occur much more frequently, and because the country is much poorer than the UK, it experiences the negative impacts on homes, society, and infrastructure, to a higher level. Understandably, floodplains are places where many people desire to live, even though flooding cannot be avoided. The level of hazard flood risk predicted for the people living in this housing areas of the floodplain can often be underestimated, as experience in the UK show. The 2013/14 floods resulted in estimated losses of around ?290M; ?40M above annual average, which how efficiently the impacts of floods could be dealt with due to precautions are taken previously. However, losses can occur from flood clusters, instead of single floods.

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Alex Wood

Cite this Essay

Review on the flooding of the UK. (2018, April 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
“Review on the flooding of the UK.” GradesFixer, 14 Apr. 2018,
Review on the flooding of the UK. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
Review on the flooding of the UK [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 14 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from:
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