Compound and Cascading Hazards in a Changing Climate:
Amir AghaKouchak, University of California, Irvine
A combination of climate events may cause significant impacts on the ecosystem and society, although individual events involved may not be severe extremes themselves – a notion known as compound event (e.g., drought and heatwaves, rain over burned areas, combined ocean and terrestrial flooding). Compound events do not conform to traditional categories of extremes and current environmental risk assessment methodologies, because they emerge from complex multi-causal and interdependent processes. After introducing a typology of compound events, I present three different types of compound and cascading events including drought-heatwaves, sea level rise-terrestrial flooding, and drought-fire-snow/rain interactions. The presentation includes different methodological frameworks and perspectives for detecting, modeling, risk assessment and attribution of compound events. The results show that ignoring the interactions between interrelated hazard drivers significantly underestimate the risk of compound events. I also discuss a case study investigating the impacts of a compound event on the electric power network (i.e., quantifying the probabilities of failure of power network components under current and future hazards). Improved understanding of compound and cascading hazards can lead to development of new paradigms, environmental risk assessment methods and decision support systems.
Amir Aghakouchak (University of California, Irvine) will give a talk about Compound and Cascading Hazards in a Changing Climate on Monday, 2nd of Ocotober, 10am-1pm, at SZ 15.21.