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Climate change could see calamitous floods usually considered once-in-a-century events come around every 10 years or so by the end of the 21st century, according to a Japanese-led scientific study.
Overall large increases in flood frequency are expected in South-East Asia, central Africa and much of South America.
Severe floods would happen more often on most of the 29 rivers reviewed in detail including the Yangtze, the Mekong and the Ganges in Asia, the Niger, the Congo and the Nile in Africa and the Amazon and Parana in Latin America.
The Rhine in Europe is also expected to see an increase in the frequency of flooding.
The Mississippi in the US and the Euphrates in the Middle East are expected to see a decrease in risk of flooding and the scientists warn that there are wide bands of uncertainty.
Overall, rising temperatures will increase the risk of floods as warmer air can absorb more moisture and so cause more rain. Change in wind and other factors could leave some areas getting wetter, while others get drier.
The latest findings will help go some way to countries preparing for deluges, say the researchers.