Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective (Geophysical Monograph Series)

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The volume is a comprehensive collection of current developments in the understanding of extreme events. The following critical areas are highlighted: understanding extreme events, natural hazard prediction and development of mitigation strategies, recent developments in complexity science, global change and how it relates to extreme events, and policy sciences and perspective.

With its overarching theme, Extreme Events and Natural Hazards will be of interest and relevance to scientists interested in nonlinear geophysics, natural hazards, atmospheric science, hydrology, oceanography, tectonics, and space weather. Protective measures against natural hazards mean complex choices involving the opinions of multidisciplinary groups of experts in the fields of ecology, civic and geotechnical engineering, geology, meteorology, law and economics.

Moreover, tools and choices affect different stakeholders: politicians, producers, consumers, taxpayers and voters.


Complementarity between informed rationality and democracy need to be recognized and guaranteed as too often the perceptions of the majority of the stakeholders involved about natural hazards are not consistent with any objective information about the catastrophic event. The interaction between strict budget constraints, extremely high degrees of uncertainty, risk-aversion and credit rationing, trade-off between democracy and rationality, are the main causes of potential 'poverty traps'. First of all we believe that the 'reconstruction output' to be included in GDP as an ex-post effect of a natural hazard is a forced investment much more effective in crowding-out other consumption and investment and less effective for growth than investments aiming at increasing, ex-ante, the resiliency of the economy.

Keynes' 'Animal Spirits' are embedded in positive expectation for future gains especially if not concentrated in reconstruction procurement sectors but spread across different sectors of the economy. The increased demand for reconstruction goods and services may act in both directions depending on the phase of the business cycles in which the economy is. Risk premiums for risk-averter investors increase in consequence of a natural hazard event; this restrict budget constraints and strengthen credit rationing.

Extreme Events and Natural Hazards : The Complexity Perspective

A mere replacement effect of the destroyed capital by a more. Zhang, Y. Extreme weather events significantly affect humans and economics in the region.

Synoptic and timely observations of these abrupt meteoro-hydrological hazards would benefit disaster management and improve storm forecasting. Contemporary processing of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment GRACE twin-satellite data at monthly sampling would miss or under-sample abrupt events such as large ice storms with durations much shorter than a month.

Here, we employ the energy balance approach processing GRACE Level 1 data, which is flexible to allow sub-monthly solutions at daily sampling covering the genesis and evolution of large winter storms. We studied the Southeast China snow and ice storm, which lasted from mid-January to mid-February, and affected 21 out of China's 34 provinces with heavy snows, ice and freezing rains, caused extensive damage and transportation disruption, displaced nearly 1.

We also investigated the devastating North America blizzard which occurred during late January through mid-February The massive accumulations of snow and ice in both storms slightly changed the gravity field of the Earth, and were sensitive to the GRACE satellite measurements, manifested as transient terrestrial water storage TWS change.

The GRACE observed total storage change for both storms are in good agreement with in situ precipitation measurements, and with GRACE observations clearly show the complex genesis, decline, strengthening and melting phases depicting the detailed evolution of these example large snow storms.

Recent federal legislation and the Federal Highway Administration FHWA have directed state transportation agencies to identify potential vulnerabilities associated with extreme weather events and climate change, develop a risk-based asset managemen Natural Hazards within the West Indies.

Outlines the vulnerability of the West Indies to various natural hazards , especially hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Reviews the geologic and meteorologic causes and consequences of the hazards. Suggests methods of incorporating hazards information in geography classes. Includes maps and a hurricane tracking chart. Conceptual geoinformation model of natural hazards risk assessment. Natural hazards are the major threat to safe interactions between nature and society.

The assessment of the natural hazards impacts and their consequences is important in spatial planning and resource management.

Today there is a challenge to advance our understanding of how socio-economical and climate changes will affect the frequency and magnitude of hydro-meteorological hazards and associated risks. However, the impacts from different types of natural hazards on various marine and coastal economic activities are not of the same type. In this study, the conceptual geomodel of risk assessment is presented to highlight the differentiation by the type of economic activities in extreme events risk assessment.

The marine and coastal ecosystems are considered as the objects of management, on the one hand, and as the place of natural hazards ' origin, on the other hand. One of the key elements in describing of such systems is the spatial characterization of their components.

Assessment of ecosystem state is based on ecosystem indicators indexes. They are used to identify the changes in time. The scenario approach is utilized to account for the spatio-temporal dynamics and uncertainty factors. Two types of scenarios are considered: scenarios of using ecosystem services by economic activities and scenarios of extreme events and related hazards. Research is urgently needed that incorporates the interconnected nature of three critical resources supporting our cities: food, energy and water.

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All of the models found here have been coded in Matlab and C. Considering situations across different times, our study shows desirable data requirements for the analysis and effective measures to improve Value at Risk VaR for private enterprises and supply chains. Application of the Research Object concept to HIM development facilitates collaboration, by encapsulating scientific knowledge in a shareable format that can be easily shared and used by partners working on the same model but within their areas of expertise. Texas leads the nation in flash flood fatalities. The simulator itself is built conditionally using autoregressive regression models for each driver conditional on the others.

Cities are increasing demands for food, water and energy resources that in turn stress resource supplies, creating risks of negative impacts to human and ecological wellbeing. Simultaneously, shifts in climatic conditions, including extremes such as floods, heat, and droughts, threaten the sustainable availability of adequate quantities and qualities of food, energy and water FEW resources needed for resilient cities and ecosystems.

These resource flows cannot be treated in isolation simply because they are interconnected: shifts in food, energy or water dynamics in turn affect the others, affecting the security of the whole - i. We present a framework to examine the dynamic interactions of urbanization, FEW nexus security and extreme hazard risks, with two overarching research questions: Do existing and emerging actions intended to enhance a population's food, water and energy security have the capacity to ensure FEW nexus security in the face of changing climate and urban development conditions?

Can we identify a common set of social, ecological and technological conditions across a diversity of urban-regions that support the emergence of innovations that can lead to structural transformations for FEW nexus security?

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Uncertainty in natural hazards , modeling and decision support: An introduction to this volume [Chapter 1. Modeling has been used to characterize and map natural hazards and hazard susceptibility for decades. Uncertainties are pervasive in natural hazards analysis, including a limited ability to predict where and when extreme events will occur, with what consequences, and driven by what contributing factors.

Modeling efforts are challenged by the intrinsic Resilience to Interacting multi- natural hazards. Conventional analyses of hazard assessment tend to focus on individual hazards in isolation. However, many parts of the world are usually affected by multiple natural hazards with the potential for interacting relationships.

The understanding of such interactions, their impacts and the related uncertainties, are an important and topical area of research. All three types of interacting multi- hazards may occur in natural hazard prone regions, so it is important that research on hazard resilience should cover all of them. In the past decades, great progresses have been made in tackling disaster risk around the world.

However, there are still many challenging issues to be solved, and the disasters over recent years have clearly demonstrated the inadequate resilience in our highly interconnected and interdependent systems.

Cited article:

We have identified the following weaknesses and knowledge gaps in the current disaster risk management: 1 although our understanding in individual hazards has been greatly improved, there is a lack of sound knowledge about mechanisms and processes of interacting multi- hazards. Therefore, the resultant multi- hazard risk is often significantly underestimated with severe consequences. It is also poorly understood about the spatial and.

Managing extreme natural disasters in coastal areas.

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Extreme natural hazards , particularly the hydro-meteorological disasters, are emerging as a cause of major concern in the coastal regions of India and a few other developing countries. These have become more frequent in the recent past, and are taking a heavy toll of life and livelihoods. Low level of technology development in the rural areas together with social, economic and gender inequities enhance the vulnerability of the largely illiterate, unskilled, and resource-poor fishing, farming and landless labour communities. Their resilience to bounce back to pre-disaster level of normality is highly limited.

For the planet Earth at crossroads, the imminent threat, however, is from a vicious spiral among environmental degradation, poverty and climate change-related natural disasters interacting in a mutually reinforcing manner. These, in turn, retard sustainable development, and also wipe out any small gains made thereof. To counter this unacceptable trend, the M. Swaminathan Research Foundation has developed a biovillage paradigm and rural knowledge centres for ecotechnological and knowledge empowerment of the coastal communities at risk.

Frontier science and technologies blended with traditional knowledge and ecological prudence result in ecotechnologies with pro- nature , pro-poor and pro-women orientation. The rural communities are given training and helped to develop capacity to adopt ecotechnologies for market-driven eco-enterprises.

The modern information and communication-based rural knowledge centres largely operated by trained semi-literate young women provide time- and locale-specific information on weather, crop and animal husbandry, market trends and prices for local communities, healthcare, transport, education, etc. The use of recombinant DNA technology for genetic shielding of agricultural. The ecotechnologies and time- and locale-specific information content development are need-based and chosen in a 'bottom-up' manner. The Extreme Climate Index: a novel and multi- hazard index for extreme weather events.

In this presentation we introduce the Extreme Climate Index ECI : an objective, multi- hazard index capable of tracking changes in the frequency or magnitude of extreme weather events in African countries, thus indicating that a shift to a new climate regime is underway in a particular area. This index has been developed in the context of XCF eXtreme Climate Facilities project lead by ARC African Risk Capacity, specialised agency of the African Union , and will be used in the payouts triggering mechanism of an insurance programme against risks related to the increase of frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events due to climate regimes' changes.

The main hazards covered by ECI will be extreme dry, wet and heat events, with the possibility of adding region-specific risk events such as tropical cyclones for the most vulnerable areas. It will be based on data coming from consistent, sufficiently long, high quality historical records and will be standardized across broad geographical regions, so that extreme events occurring under different climatic regimes in Africa can be comparable.