Tokyo: A University of Tokyo study has warned that the unchecked progress of global warming would increase the risk of flooding at the end of this century in 42 percent of the Earth`s land surface, mainly in Asia and Africa.
The research team led by Yukiko Hirabayashi at the University of Tokyo`s Institute of Engineering Innovation also said that the number of people exposed to the risk of flooding would increase from the current estimate of 5.6 million to 80 million by 2100 if temperatures rise by 3.5 C degrees during the period.
The study, published Sunday by British science journal Nature Climate Change, further said that the frequency of flooding would increase across large areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Eurasia, eastern and low-latitude Africa, and South America.
However, flood frequency is projected to decline in certain areas covering 18 percent of the land surface, it said.
The projections were made based on the output of 11 existing climate models and its own program designed to forecast river inundation.
The team said warned that if global warming progresses without effective countermeasures, many of the world`s 29 major rivers would see massive floods, which currently occur once a century, at an increased frequency of every 10 to 50 years.
They called for the need to consider flood risks in setting targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.