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How flooding affects the environment

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on DW or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Floods, often viewed negatively, play an essential role in ecological processes
• Seasonal floods are crucial for distributing soil nutrients, enriching ecosystems, and supporting biological productivity, especially in river deltas and estuaries

🔭 The context: James Dalton from the International Union for Conservation of Nature emphasizes the ecological benefits of floods
• They transport vital nutrients and sediments, and are integral for certain species' survival; however, intensified by climate change, the destructive potential of floods has increased, leading to more severe environmental and economic impacts

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Floods' dual nature presents a challenge in environmental management
• While they contribute to nutrient distribution and soil fertilization, their heightened intensity and unpredictability can lead to habitat destruction and increased soil erosion, necessitating a balanced approach to flood management

⏭️ What's next: Adapting to the changing nature of floods involves strategies like river reconstitution and implementing nature-based solutions such as agroforestry
• These measures aim to utilize the ecological benefits of flooding while mitigating its adverse effects on environments and communities

💬 One quote: “We need floods because they flush down sediments and they flush down nutrients and they flush down certain species as well, which are critically important” (James Dalton, Director of the Global Water Programme, IUCN)

📈 One stat: Flooding accounted for the greatest economic loss among climate-related weather extremes in the European Union from 1980 to 2022

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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