News

Dissemination of identification of DAMOCLES Stakeholder Network

Published: 2019-11-04 16:40:32
Last update: 2019-11-04 16:40:32

DAMOCLES COST Action on Compound Weather Events aims to establish and coordinate a network of previously unconnected communities including climate scientists, hydrologists, impact modelers, risk modelers, statisticians and stakeholders. WG 2 connects the scientific network developed through the Action with a network of stakeholders for whom Compound Events are important in decision-making. One of the first activities is to identify the stakeholder network already present in the action and to supplement this to match the action’s scientific modeling expertise. In this presentation the identified stakeholder network of the DAMOCLES will be presented with the aim to continue the discussion of the Prague and Berlin meetings on how to foster collaboration within our COST Action.

Bio: Dimitra Theochari is an architect and landscape architect with international experience in Nature-based Solutions projects of different scales the past eight years as part of Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl and Turenscape with more than 55 projects in 15 countries. Her research work includes participation in COST Actions and Horizon 2020 programs focused on topics of Circular City, Nature-based Solutions, Urban Agriculture, Restorative Sustainability and Compound Weather Events. Her expertise lies in large scale masterplan implementation of innovative and complex NbS practices in an international context. Currently she works as a project manager at MSB Landscape Architects in Hamburg


Faculty position at Loughborough

Published: 2019-10-08 07:31:12
Last update: 2019-10-08 07:32:57

There is a faculty (i.e. open ended academic) position at Loughborough going.  Loughborough is consistently in the 10 best university in the UK by recent rankings, often up to 5th, and we think it's a friendly and academically exciting place that produces world-leading environmental science.

The job advert for a 'Lecturer' - translation from UK terminology - this would be called (entry-level) 'Professor' in many other countries.  The lectureship is in Geography and our head of department has stressed to us that this can be in either human or physical geography: a couple of quotes below (bold is my addition).

"The position is broad"

"We would especially welcome interest in the climate-energy-development nexus, which might bridge physical and human geography through wider considerations of sustainability and resilience."

My personal belief is that the broad scope of interest is genuine, and that early career scientists in the DAMOCLES network could be of interest e.g. with impact-centric compound methods spanning from physical science to human considerations, and with a potential focus on resilience.

Informal enquires to our head of Geography please - Louise Holt (l.holt@lboro.ac.uk), although I'd also be happy to chat (j.hillier@lboro.ac.uk).

For more information please visit: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/join-us/outstanding/social-sciences-humanities/

by John Hillier


Summary: Workshop on Correlated Extreme Events

Published: 2019-06-06 05:20:49
Last update: 2019-06-06 16:16:18

Lead Organizers: Colin Raymond, Radley Horton

Steering Committee: Amir AghaKouchak, Olivia Martius, Thomas Wahl, Jakob Zscheischler, Suzana Camargo, Alex Ruane, Adam Sobel, Michael Oppenheimer, Noah Diffenbaugh, Sonia Seneviratne

This workshop took place at Columbia University (New York, USA) on May 28-31. It was designed to bring together the communities of researchers studying extreme events connected to each other through some physical mechanism. A particular aim was to draw on core disciplines that have used correlated frameworks – for example, multivariate extremes in the hydrological community, or sequential and contingent extremes in the natural-hazards community — and thus to build a more integrated sense of the importance of ‘correlation’ or ‘compounding’ across all climate extremes. Exploring the current thinking and future directions of how to optimally conduct impacts-driven correlated-extremes research was another major theme. The first sessions were structured around a division of events into compound/multivariate, concurrent, and sequential or persistent types, with the latter sessions aiming to integrate these into traditional disciplines of study (e.g. drought or tropical cyclones) as well as into broader societal decision-making.

Approximately 175 people attended the workshop, representing 20 countries. About 2/3 were climate scientists, the remainder being social scientists, company representatives, or government officials. A total of 90 presentations (42 talks and 48 posters) were presented, including 44 by women, 40 by early-career researchers, and 7 by developing-country researchers. The website contains links to the full video recordings of the workshop, and to many of the slides and poster pdfs.

Two keynotes underscored the growing prominence of correlated thinking for hazards that can be understood as resulting from multiple connected drivers, and the simultaneous need to recognize that climate information is most useful to practitioners when generated, packaged, and presented in particular ways. Connection (or correlation, if the linkage is physically based) raises the likelihood that two hazardous events will occur simultaneously or within a short window of time, and these correlation coefficients are themselves variable with climate change (e.g. the intensifying interaction between continental drought and heat). From an impacts perspective, self-consistent ‘storylines’ are often preferable to overlapping sets of probabilities, and specific thresholds often mark the need for qualitative changes in strategy. Additionally, a particular adaptation measure’s usefulness is best measured by the ease with which it can be enhanced in the future, and the complexity and cost with which it is associated, rather than merely its effectiveness in the climate realm over some evaluation period. 

The first several sessions covered recent physical-science advances in multivariate (which we termed 'compound') and concurrent extremes, expanding on topics covered in a 2017 WCRP-sponsored workshop. Major themes included the nuanced and sometimes non-monotonic effects across combinations of variables, especially under climate change where conditions will soon be far from 20th-century baselines. Several speakers described the necessity of sophisticated modeling, due to the poor spatial coverage and temporal record of observed variables other than temperature and precipitation, as well as the rarity of certain events. Talks ranged from statistical modeling techniques to fluvial-pluvial flooding to more-exotic combinations of drivers, such as tropical-cyclone winds buffeting the drought-stricken Iberian Peninsula and exacerbating wildfires. The Katia-Irma-Jose sequence of Atlantic tropical cyclones was cited as encapsulating how ‘types’ of correlation are often more a matter of perspective or convenience than a physically meaningful distinction. In the mid-latitudes, recurrent Rossby waves were discussed as contributing strongly to persistent and geographically specific summer heat and extratropical cyclones, though the ultimate origin of these wave patterns remains opaque.

The second day moved into other areas, such as sequences of the same or different types of event, or exceptionally persistent events. Projected increases in persistence were revealed for U.S. temperature/air pollution compound episodes and for mid-latitude consecutive precipitation days. The importance of conducting such assessments with regard to seasonal, subregional, and meteorological conditions, as appropriate for the processes underlying a given correlated extreme, was emphasized.

Splitting into eight breakout groups provided the opportunity for diverse crowdsourced identification of themes, among which were the potential benefits of closer collaboration with engineering organizations and the need for both climate scientists and policy-makers to use metrics that accurately reflect societal impacts and values.

Two final sessions considered a variety of perspectives on correlated extremes from sectoral experts, and estimates of how these affect systemic risk to global interconnected networks such as food, business supply chains, and ecology. The complex nature of these systems can either exacerbate or buffer shocks from correlated extremes, depending largely on the human-management side of the equation. A few presentations gave hope for increased predictability, such as by highlighting the important role played by ENSO cycles in modulating concurrent crop failures, or by increasing the utility of climate information — such as through learning from water managers that identifying types of years which lie within the current climate space, but for which there are no good historical analogues, is a valuable piece of data for them. Where, when, and on whom the impacts of correlated extremes fall are all telling predictors of their severity, with vulnerability often being compound in a demographic sense as well as a physical one. There was often a two-sides-of-the-same-coin feel to the discussion; for example, in the realization that nonlinearity of impacts is nearly universal, but that it derives in some cases primarily from a physical response (waterlogged soil becoming more susceptible to flooding from subsequent rain), while in other cases from a societal inability to muster enough financial or political resources in the face of repeated extreme events.

An overarching conclusion of the workshop was that risk management requires knowledge of the full spectrum of possibilities, organized into a coherent framework that is digestible by impacts decision-makers through their normal deliberation processes. Correlated extremes are rarely (if ever) incorporated into current policy guidelines for infrastructure, development, etc., indicating that significant effort will be required to translate even our existing scientific understanding. However, a positive realization was that minor but frequent updates to guidelines are not only more politically feasible, but operationally desirable in terms of being able to track changing probabilities of the occurrence of particular correlated extremes as estimations and emissions scenarios are updated.

This summary post was written by Colin Raymond.


Session report: Understanding and modelling compound climate and weather events and their impacts

Published: 2019-04-15 15:22:51
Last update: 2019-04-25 14:09:25

Chairperson: Bart van den Hurk

Conveners: Nina Nadine Ridder | Co-conveners: Bart van den Hurk, Philip Ward, Seth Westra, Jakob Zscheischler, Samuel Jonson Sutanto, Claudia Vitolo, Henny A.J. Van Lanen

This is a short summary of the oral session at the EGU 2019 where once again this year a session on understanding and modelling compound climate and weather events and their impacts was being held. The selection of oral presentations showed that the research community is actively exploring the monitoring and modelling of compound events. While most presentations (and posters) focused on the documentation of compound event occurrence or their potential impacts on various sectors, a few studies report progress on forecasting and modelling events that are selected for the compound nature of their driver.

Water interactions leading to high-impact compound events: multiple stakeholder perspectives

Georgia Destouni, Samaneh Seifollahi-Aghmiuni, Zahra Kalantari, Carmen Prieto, and Yuanying Chen

Georgia Destouni discussed ongoing research within the EU COASTAL project, in which coastal zone issues are being examined using “multi-actor labs”. The presentation discussed how multiple stakeholder objectives can be including in modelling water interactions that lead to compound events. Questions addressed include: Which event and impacts are most relevant for stakeholders? What is/needs to be understood about interacting variables and interaction strengths/quantification?  They started by creating common mind maps by looking at possible drivers of changes and define key interaction and causal links. These were used as a basis to quantify the interactions and feedbacks in a systems approach using fuzzy cognitive mapping. They found that harbors and agriculture are sectors which can be heavily affected by the strength of these interactions. Eventually, this analysis will be used as a basis for co-developing scenarios and roadmaps towards coastal solutions and mitigation of risks.

Changing compound flood probability at the global scale under anthropogenic climate change

Emanuele Bevacqua, Douglas Maraun, Michalis I. Vousdoukas, Lorenzo Mentaschi, Evangelos Voukouvalas, Giuseppe Zappa, and Mathieu Vrac

Emanuele Bevacqua used model simulations to study compound flooding at the global scale from extreme precipitation and sea-levels. They assessed the dependence of high sea levels and precipitation at the global scale, under both current and future climates. They showed where the change in compound flood return periods in future climate could be attributed due to a change in extreme precipitation,  a change in extreme surge, or a change in the dependence between the two. The research shows that the compound flood potential from concurrent storm surge and extreme precipitation in several regions will have substantial changes beyond sea level rise, and should be considered for adaptation planning.

A centennial catalogue of hydro-geomorphological compound events and corresponding atmospheric forcing

Alexandre M. Ramos, Susana Pereira, Ricardo M. Trigo, and José L. Zêzere

Alexandre Ramos studied the hydro-geomorphological occurrences of flood (urban, flash flood or river floods) and landslides in Portugal, using a database from 1865 to 2015 compiled from newspaper articles. Their research assessed the atmospheric drivers that caused combined floods and landslides events, in this database. During ~60% of the compound events, SW/W/NW weather types were dominant. In addition, besides the extra-tropical cyclones associated with this events, the atmospheric rivers were associated with more than half of these events enhancing the precipitation event. They also found that the effect of conditional rainfall previous to the even was important in explaining the impact of these events, which created favorable conditions for landslides to occur either from previously wet soils or due to extreme amounts of precipitation. More details on these findings are available here.

Predicting compound dry-hot events over global land areas based on large-scale climate indices

Zengchao Hao, Xinying Wu, Sifang Feng, Vijay Singh, Fanghua Hao, and Xuan Zhang

Zengchao Hao looked into compound dry-hot events which can have very large impacts globally. Such event can be due to natural cycles such as ENSO, large-scale circulation patterns, and relatively greater regional sensitivity to global change.  He presented a new method to predict these compound dry-hot events based on ENSO, and demonstrated its first application at the global scale. A predictive model has been developed using a binary variable as predictand based on monthly precipitation and temperature, assessing the probability that both of these exceed various thresholds. The results show several regions where the model shows good predictive skill. More details on these findings are available here.

Joint probability of hot and dry meteorological extremes

Ana Russo, Andreia Ribeiro, and Célia M. Gouveia

The Mediterranean region is a hotspot for extremes, including mega-heatwaves which can lead to large socioeconomic impacts. Andreia Ribeiro presented research looking at the joint probability of hot and dry extremes in the Mediterranean, with the goal of assessing whether hot extremes are preceded by moisture deficits. For moisture, they use SPEI as a proxy, and for hot extremes, the number of hot days per month exceeding the 90th percentile is used. The correlation is assessed between these proxies to identify hotspots. The research shows that in most regions of the Mediterranean (but also in Western Europe), there are significant negative correlations between the number of hot days and SPEI, with the correlations becoming stronger throughout the summer season. The results show potential for early warning. These findings can also be found here.

Vulnerability of hop production due to compound climate events over Europe

Vera Potopová, Martin Možny, Luboš Türkott, Josef Soukup, Javier J Cancela, Paula Paredes, Martin Pavlovič Martin Pavlovič, Deniz Bilge, Francis Heitz, Siniša Srečec, Martin Steinhaus Martin Steinhaus, and Florian Weihrauch

Climate extremes affect most of the core ingredients of beer production (hop, water and barley), and Vera Potopová described research assessing the vulnerability of European hop production to compound climate events, both floods and droughts. The research shows that hop production critically depends on both the duration and coincidence of extreme events. Longer and more severe drought and heatwave occurrences have increased more than shorter, less severe concurrences. Overall, the quality of hops is decreasing whilst demand for hops is increasing. Whilst irrigation can reduce the drought impact, a problem is the decreasing content of alpha acids. Vera states that: “It’s so much easier to be a good manager in a wet year!”

Involvement of Stochastic Weather Generators within the DAMOCLES project

Martin Dubrovsky, Ondrej Lhotka, Petr Stepanek, Jiri Miksovsky, and Jan Meitner

Martin Dubrovsky provided an overview of weather generators, i.e. models to produce synthetic weather data statistically similar to real-world weather data. They presented a promising weather generator, SPAGETTA, that he and colleagues have been developing since 2016. Weather generators are a promising tool for studying compound events (CEs), therefore developing SPAGETTA towards a better representation of some relevant CE characteristics would be relevant. SPAGETTA can already reproduce many relevant features of the observed climate system, such as temporal and spatial structures of hot and dry spells or wet and dry events. An interaction between the SPAGETTA developers and DAMOCLES members would allow for the improvement of the weather generator, which could ultimately be useful for assessing the impact of several CEs.

This summary blog was written by Philip Ward, Anaïs Couasnon and Emanuele Bevacqua.


Workshop on Correlated Extremes

Published: 2019-03-18 00:02:15
Last update: 2019-11-13 15:18:45

The Workshop on Correlated Extremes will take place on Columbia University’s Morningside campus (Manhattan, NYC) on May 29-31, 2019, preceded by an evening panel on May 28. It will be comprised of a blend of invited talks and abstract submissions (both talks and posters), and will also have a significant amount of time devoted to discussions. A total attendance of around 125 is anticipated. 

For more information and a complete workshop schedule please visit
http://extremeweather.columbia.edu/workshop-on-correlated-extremes/

Note that registration is required and is open through April 30.


Open ended academic position at Loughborough University

Published: 2019-02-18 13:19:28
Last update: 2019-03-17 23:45:08

A part of its Excellence 100 recruitment, Loughborough is recruiting for a Lectureship in Energy Adaptions and Climate Change Resilience. This is an open ended academic position. The application deadline is 11 March 2019. Details can be found at this website under the Geography tab.  Please do not be put off by the 'Social Science' umbrella, we do world-class physical environmental science within this, and hazard and risk will mesh nicely with the 'Resillience' aspect of the call.  Of course, resilience might need to be to compound events.

On behalf of John Hillier.


Doctorate Researcher Opportunity

Published: 2019-01-22 12:18:17
Last update: 2019-03-17 23:46:49

The announcement for a position for a Doctorate Researcher under the Project IMPECAF ref: PTDC / CTA-CLI / 28902/2017 was published and is available at http://www.fc.ul.pt/pt/concursos, n. 2725.

IMPECAF's main objective is to deepen the existing knowledge on individual and compound dry and hot weather extremes (heat waves, droughts and flash-droughts) affecting the agricultural and forestry ecosystems on the Iberian Peninsula.

The objectives of the work program are:

1) the selection of adequate hydro-meteorological indexes for the identification of extreme events in the Iberian Peninsula (IP);

2) the characterization of extreme events regarding to their duration, intensity and severity;

3) the development of agricultural and forest risk models based on earth observation data and high spatial resolution data (e.g. satellite data)

4) the analysis of the influence of short-medium-term meteorological forecasts on losses of agricultural yield and fire risk;

5) analysis of the influence of climate change on agriculture and forests

The work will be hosted by IDL-University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, Lisbon, Portugal.

Please note that this is also available on the Eracareers portal with the following link: http://www.eracareers.pt/opportunities/index.aspx?task=global&jobId=109657.

For more information, please consult the Call for Applications at FCUL or write an email to acrusso@fc.ul.pt


PhD opportunity "Deadly Climate Hazards Combined: Tropical Cyclones and Deadly Heat"

Published: 2018-12-21 15:04:06
Last update: 2019-02-18 13:22:10

Might the severe risk posed by hurricanes become worse if they increasingly link with deadly heatwaves? As global temperatures rise, individual climate-driven hazards might become more intense or frequent. But, perhaps our concern should focus on entirely new or unrecognized risks caused by combinations of two or more hazards [e.g. Hillier et al, 2015], which may prove to be the most catastrophic. After all, it is events beyond human experience which are most likely to result in game changing consequences for society [Zscheischler et al., 2018]. “Black-swan” events are surprises that could not have been be anticipated (e.g. the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001), but with suitable physical understanding of the climate system it should be possible to identifying likely devastating natural hazard combinations before they first impact. This predictability renders such potential surprises “grey swan” events. Clearly, the stakes are high in detecting such emergent threats and there is strong incentive to develop plans for minimizing their impact.

This PhD project will contribute in this regard by addressing the rising grey swan hazard of deadly (humid) heat events following tropical cyclones (TCs). The supervisors’ initial work shows that this compound hazard has so far missed densely populated regions, but that good fortune looks unlikely to hold as dangerously hot weather and powerful TCs are expected to become more frequent as the climate continues to warm  [Matthews, 2018; Matthews et al., 2017; Kang and Elsner, 2015]. The possible impacts from such a hurricane-heatwave “multiplier” hazard actually unfolding cannot be overstated, given the growing dependency on air conditioning, and the mega blackouts that have followed recent major TCs [Houser and Marsters, 2018; Barreca et al., 2013] (Fig. 1).

The most sophisticated multi-hazard probabilistic risk modelling (i.e. catastrophe modelling) is in insurance [Kappes et al., 2012], with the World Bank now leading efforts to drive these expertise into the Disaster Risk Finance (DRF) community [Mitchell-Wallace et al., 2017]. This PhD will feed into that effort, contributing to pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and equipping the student with a highly-employable skill set, knowledge and experience.

For more information and contact details visit the CENTA website.

On behalf of Dr. Tom Matthews and Dr. John Hillier, Loughborough University


Call for abstracts: Compound event session at EGU2019 organised by DAMOCLES

Published: 2018-12-19 10:29:17
Last update: 2019-01-12 10:52:44

We are excited to invite submissions to the session "Understanding and modelling compound climate and weather events and their impacts (NH1.3/AS4.49)" at the EGU General Meeting in April 2019. This session, organised by DAMOCLES, aims to bring together climate scientists, impact modellers, statisticians, and stakeholders to discuss Compound Events, share their findings and connect to the Compound Event community. 

Abstracts will be accepted until the 10th of January 2019 and should be submitted through the official EGU abstract submission system. More information on how to submit an abstract can be found here.

The session will focus on the following topics:

  • Synthesis and Analysis: What are common features for different classes of Compound Events? Which climate variables need to be assessed jointly in order to address related impacts? How much is currently known about the dependence between these variables? 
  • Stakeholders and science-user interface: Which events are most relevant for stakeholders? What are novel approaches to ensure continuous stakeholder engagement?
  • Impacts: What are the currently available sources of impact data? How can they be used to link observed impacts to climate and weather events?
  • Statistical approaches, model development and evaluation: What are possible novel statistical models that could be applied in the assessment of Compound Events?
  • Realistic model simulations of events: What are the physical mechanisms behind different types of Compound Events? What type of interactions result in the joint impact of the hazards that are involved in the event? How do these interactions influence risk assessment analyses?

We are looking forward to your submission and attendance at the session!


Official start of the COST Action on 'Understanding and modeling compound climate and weather events (DAMOCLES)'

Published: 2018-09-15 03:43:24
Last update: 2019-11-13 15:19:13
Yesterday was the official start of the COST Action DAMOCLES (also see our post from the 3rd of May). The kick off meeting in Brussels hosted representatives from almost all 28 countries taking part in this network Action, which facilitates the compound event community to join forces and tackle the challenges of compounding extreme weather and climate events. In this first meeting, the management committee of the Action, under the lead of the Action chair Jakob Zscheischler, elected representatives for several key positions. Further, the committee set the budget for the first budget period. This includes:
  • several opportunities for early career investigator (ECI) from Inclusiveness Target Countries to win conference grants for next year’s EGU General Assembly in Vienna
  • a number of Short Term Scientific Mission grants,
  • travel grants for ECIs to participate at a workshop in Oslo early next year, and
  • the organisation and travel support for the first public meeting of the Action in Prague (CZ) on the 17th and 18th of December 2018.
The five working groups within DAMOCLES will be led by a team of two researchers with expertise in the research area of the respective working groups (WG). The two leaders will jointly organise and manage the work of each group and will be in close contact with the other WG leaders to allow a vivid exchange between the different sections of the Action. Researchers interested to join the Action and contribute to the work of the different WGs are invited to contact the Action chair or any other member of the Management Committee. In detail, WG 1 under the lead of Alexandre Ramos (Universidade de Lisboa) and Olivia Romppainen-Martius (University of Bern) will develop a generalized framework for the identification, analysis methodology and impact assessment of Compound Events. WG 2, lead by Sarah D’haen (Climate Analytics) and Dimitra Theochari (National Technical University of Athens), aims it attention to the identification of the current stakeholder network within the Action and map this on a time-space-hazard domain. This work will build on the framework developed in WG 1. WG 3 is lead by Miguel Mahecha (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry) and Sonia Quiroga (Universidad de Alcalá). This working group focuses on the impacts of Compound Events and the exploration of the applicability of currently available impact databases for compound event research. WG 4, under the leadership of Aglaé Jezequel (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement) and Douglas Mauran (University of Graz), assesses statistical methods currently available to describe and analyse multivariate processes. Further, this WG will promote best practices for the investigation of compound events and together with WG 5 facilitate the exchange between statistical and numerical climate modellers. WG 5, under the lead of Nina Ridder (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) and Ondrej Lhotka (The Czech Academy of Sciences), concentrates on the realistic modelling of specific events to identify the driving mechanisms behind these events and improve their predictability. The event selection will be conducted in close collaboration with the stakeholder network of the Action identified in WG 2. Other key positions were appointed to:
  • Bart van den Hurk (KNMI) - Action vice-chair,
  • Christopher White (University of Strathclyde) - Short Term Scientific Missions Manager, and
  • Wim Thiery (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) - Science Communications Manager.

Postdoc opportunity to work on compound flooding

Published: 2018-08-29 17:32:21
Last update: 2019-02-18 13:22:31
Dear colleagues, We have a vacancy for a 2-year postdoc position at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. The successful candidate will be working in the Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Department (CECE) and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research (NCICR) (https://www.ucf.edu/faculty/feature/national-center-for-integrated-coastal-research/). The position offers the unique opportunity to work with a highly interdisciplinary team, including colleagues from multiple departments and colleges at UCF and other universities nationally and internationally. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Thomas Wahl and work on the broad topic of assessing compound flooding from storm surge, wave impacts, river discharge, and/or precipitation for the US coastline, and the development of appropriate tools to include such events in risk analysis and design concepts. Parts of the funds will be covered by a UCF Preeminent Postdoctoral Scholar fellowship (including a 5k stipend for travel or other research related expenses managed by the candidate). This leaves room for the successful candidate to pursue own research ideas (aligned with the supervisor’s background and interests), produce high-level publications, assist in student advising, and be involved in other projects we are currently working on (ranging from local/regional erosion and flood risk assessments, through large-scale storm surge modelling, to multi-hazard events). The successful candidate will gain experience and be expected to assist in grant writing and teaching activities. Applicants must possess a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Statistics, Geosciences, Physical Oceanography, or other relevant field. Experience in using multivariate extreme value models (e.g. Copulas) and technical programming (e.g. MATLAB, R, Python) is required. Experience in working with climate data and time series analysis, and a strong interest in the broad field of coastal risk analysis is desired. Please send your application package (including a cover letter with a short research statement, updated resume, and contact details of two professional references) to t.wahl@ucf.edu. The start date for the position is January 2019 (fixed) and the position will be open until filled (review of applications will begin 10 September). Please don’t hesitate to contact me under the email address listed above in case you have additional questions. Information on the position is also available here: https://thomaswahl.org/positions/ Kind regards, Thomas

New article on compound events online in NHESS Discussions

Published: 2018-07-17 05:43:28
Last update: 2018-12-21 16:02:54
Atmospheric rivers (ARs), long filaments of high water vapour concentration, play an important role in the occurrence of compound events (CEs) in the form of coinciding heavy precipitation and high water levels along the Dutch coast. Over the past 37 years around 70% of all CEs of this type can be associated to the presence of an AR over the Netherlands. This has been shown in a study published in NHESS Discussions last week. The study, which was performed at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in course of the ICOWEX project, assesses modelled coastal water levels, information from an AR database (both derived from reanalysis data) and observed precipitation over the period from 1979 - 2015 to identify the driving mechanisms behind CEs. It presents a first classification of CEs into two categories: (1) CEs associated to an AR over the Netherlands and (2) CEs without such an association. This classification can be used to coordinate future research and function as a guideline for subsequent classification efforts. Additionally, the study provides information on the specific conditions that drive the two different CE classes, with (i) CEs associated to an AR occurring under sea level pressure conditions resembling the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, and (ii) CEs without the presence of an AR arising under East-Atlantic-pattern-like conditions. These typical sea level pressure patterns and the with it associated changes in moisture transport and sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic, evolve and are clearly visible throughout the week before an event. Thus, the information provided in the study could be used in the early prediction of CEs and thus facilitate the development of an early warning system for the Dutch coastal region. The study is publicly available and open for discussion until the beginning of September. We invite interested researchers to read the manuscript, leave constructive comments or contact the authors for any questions related to the study or compound events in general. Ridder, N., de Vries, H., and Drijfhout, S.: The Role of Atmospheric Rivers in compound events consisting of heavy precipitation and high storm surges along the Dutch coast, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-204, in review, 2018. [link]

Call for abstract: AGU Fall Meeting session on Compound and Cascading Events

Published: 2018-06-27 07:46:18
Last update: 2018-12-21 15:52:38
We are happy to announce that we will be launching a new session at the AGU Fall Meeting 2018, entitled “Compound and Cascading Events: an Emerging Challenge for Natural Hazard Risk Assessment and Management”. We cordially invite you to submit an abstract to this session. The abstract submission site is now open. The deadline for all submissions is Wednesday, 1 August 23:59 EDT. Abstracts will not be accepted for review after this date. Session Details (see https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/gateway.cgi) Session ID: 43856 Session Title: NH008. Compound and Cascading Events: an Emerging Challenge for Natural Hazard Risk Assessment and Management Section/Focus Group: Natural Hazards Co-organized: Hydrology Cross-listing: Atmospheric Sciences; Hydrology; Ocean Sciences; Seismology Abstract: This session focuses on compound and cascading events, and their impacts on natural hazard risk. Such events – caused by the interaction of multiple hazard drivers in space or time – have a multiplier effect on the risk to society, infrastructure, and the environment. However, they have been largely overlooked in disaster risk science and policy. Recently, they were identified as an important challenge by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) ‘Grand Challenge’ on Extremes. Therefore, this session aims to provide a platform for showcasing current state-of-the-art and recent research findings on compound, cascading, and concurrent events; and foster broader exchange of knowledge between scientists and practitioners across different natural hazards. We encourage contributions related to all aspects of compound, cascading, and concurrent events, including those that: improve understanding of physical processes; showcase new methodologies, techniques and statistical approaches; and illustrate how including multiple interacting hazards improves risk assessments. We also encourage you to forward this invitation to your colleagues who may be interested. We look forward to seeing many of you in Washington DC. Philip Ward, Antonia Sebastian, Thomas Wahl, Jakob Zscheischler

Perspective paper on Compound Events published in Nature Climate Change

Published: 2018-06-04 10:51:14
Last update: 2018-12-21 15:53:20
In this month's issue of Nature Climate Change, we published a Perspective on Future climate risk from compound events. We present a new definition of compound events, which has emerged from the workshop on Addressing the challenge of compound events in April 2017 at ETH Zurich. Following our definition, compound weather/climate events refer to the combination of multiple drivers and/or hazards that contributes to societal or environmental risk. Our definition aims to establish a framework for groundbreaking research on climate risk. In the Perspective, we review the current state of research on compound events and suggest ways forward. We call for a paradigm shift in climate impact analyses and recommend a bottom-up approach to study compound events. Bottom-up approaches start with a system and then identify those climate drivers that have the potential to cause large impacts on the system. This will help to identify the relevant drivers of compound events. In this way, compound events also serve as a bridge between different communities who study climate risk: Climate modelers, who provide information on the future state of the climate; impact modelers, who translate climate information into potential impacts; engineers, who build structures that need to withstand climate extremes; and statisticians, who provide tools to study complex dependencies in the tails of multivariate distributions. The workshop in Zurich in 2017 has also led to the creation of a new community at the interface of climate science, impact modeling, engineering and statistics. This emerging community will be brough together by the newly approved COST Action DAMOCLES. DAMOCLES will coordinate European research activities related to compound events that have been outlined in the Perspective over a period of four years. Reference: Zscheischler, J., Westra, S., van den Hurk, B. J. J. M., Seneviratne, S. I., Ward, P. J., Pitman, A., AghaKouchak, A., Bresch, D. N., Leonard, M., Wahl, T. and Zhang, X. (2018): Future climate risk from compound events, Nature Climate Change, 8, 469–477, doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0156-3, 2018.

New COST Action DAMOCLES approved

Published: 2018-05-03 09:10:37
Last update: 2018-12-21 15:55:18
On 13 April 2018 the COST Committee of Senior Officials has approved the COST Action UnDerstanding And Modeling cOmpound CLimate and weather EventS, in short, DAMOCLES. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which outlines the planned activities, went online today. COST Actions are flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instruments to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions are open to anyone interested in the topic. From the kick-off, DAMOCLES will run for four years and fund meetings, conferences, training schools, and, maybe most importantly, short-term scientific missions. Five Working Groups will coordinate the different activities related to compound event research:
    1. Synthesis and analysis framework
    2. Stakeholder involvement and science-user interface
    3. A meta-database of impact data
    4. New statistical approaches for model development and evaluation
    5. Realistic model simulations for specific event types
The main goals of DAMOCLES are to
  • identify key process and variable combinations underpinning compound events
  • describe the available statistical methods for modelling dependence in time, space, and between multiple variables
  • identify data requirements needed to document, understand, and simulate compound events
  • propose an analysis framework to improve the assessment of compound events
DAMOCLES will bring together climate scientists, impact modellers, engineers, statisticians, and stakeholders to coordinate research on compound events. We hope that this will lead to a major breakthrough in future risk assessments.

Session on compound events at the 8th GEWEX open science conference: 'Extremes and water on the edge'

Published: 2018-04-16 05:25:43
Last update: 2018-05-22 07:36:53
In early May a dedicated session on compound event research will be held in course of the 8th Open Science Conference organised by the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project. At this 6-day conference scientists from various disciplines related to Earth sciences will meet in Calgary, Canada and discuss the challenges of climate change in climate extremes and water availability. The dedicated session will focus on the challenges faced in the analysis of compound events in the light of future climate change. For this, a variety of studies dealing with this subject and using state-of-the-art methods will be presented. The session will be chaired by an international panel consisting of leading researchers from Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Other sessions at the conference will cover related topics such as atmospheric and land modelling and observations or mountainous hydrology. The conference will be preceded by a 3-day workshop for early career researchers jointly organised by Young Earth System Scientists and the Young Hydrologic Society. Here, two working groups will be discussing various topics from data availability and generation to spatial and temporal scale requirements and user needs. Working Group I - “Exploring data sources” will be co-chaired by early career scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (The Netherlands), the Centro de Investigación del Mar y la Atmósfera (Argentina), the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (New Zealand) and the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (China).

Session on compound events at EGU General Assembly 2018 - Tuesday 10th April 2018

Published: 2018-04-02 07:01:09
Last update: 2018-05-22 07:37:27

On Tuesday 10th April 2018 we will host the session “Addressing the challenge of compound events, multi-risk modelling and cross-risk assessment methods: Extremes, inter-dependencies, non-stationarities, impacts and vulnerability” at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna.

There will be 6 oral presentations between 15:30-17:00 in room L6. There will also be 18 posters in Hall X1 (poster boards X1.135 to X1.153). Posters will be there all day, with authors in attendance between 17:30-19:00.

The session will be convened by representatives from the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, ETH Zürich’s Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, University of Southampton, University of Adelaide, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, among others.

We look forward to seeing you at the session!


EGU 2018

Published: 2018-01-26 16:42:47
Last update: 2018-05-22 07:37:45
In 2018, we are again organizing a session focusing on modelling compound events as well as multi- and cross-risk assessments, entitled “Addressing the challenge of compound events, multi-risk modelling and cross-risk assessment methods”. The purpose of this session is to bring together scientists and studies from a wide range of discipline areas to illustrate how including multiple perspectives improves risk assessments. The session will be convened by, among others, representatives from the IVM, ETH Zürich’s Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, University of Southampton, University of Adelaide and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The EGU General Assembly 2018 takes place in Vienna from 8-13 April 2018