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Have you ever experienced rain where it rained so hard or for so long that you feared you may soon be up to your eyeballs in water? Sadly, many people in the world have witnessed this firsthand, and this is likely to increase due to climate change unless we do something to prepare for flooding disasters. Some areas are more prone to floods than others, and the people living there are more at risk.

Scientists have developed computer models in an effort to map flood-prone areas. Decision-makers use the results from those computer models to plan for future flooding events to limit destruction and save lives. But are they accurate enough considering human lives may depend on them? To answer this question we compared the results from six computer models that simulate flood risk in Africa. The models agreed in less than 40% of the cases about where exactly it would flood and how much damage there might be.

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About this article

Reading level
Scientific topic
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
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Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
November 2016

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