Floods have been experienced with greater frequency and more severity under global climate change. To understand the flood hazard and its variation in the future, the current and future flood hazards in the 21st century in China are discussed. Floods and their trends are assessed using the accumulation precipitation during heavy rainfall process (AP_HRP), which are calculated based on historical meteorological observations and the outputs of a global climate model (GCM) under three Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. The flood-causing HRPs counted by the flood-causing critical precipitation (the 60% fractile of AP_HRP) capture more than 70% of historical flood events. The projection results indicate that the flood hazards could increase under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 and increase slightly under RCP2.6 during the 21st century (2011–2099). The spatial characteristics of flood hazards and their increasing trends under the three RCPs are similar in most areas of China. More floods could occur in southern China, including Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi and Fujian provinces, which could become more serious in southeastern China and the northern Yunnan province. Construction of water conservancy projects, reservoir dredging, improvement of drainage and irrigation equipment and enhancement of flood control and storage capacity can mitigate the impacts of floods and waterlogging on agriculture.
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