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09 Nov 2023

Predicting Natural Hazard Events

Predicting Natural Hazard Events

Climate change affects the way businesses, organisations, governments and individuals think and operate. The question is what will happen by 2050 to address global warming and consequently the negative impacts of climate change? Which actions must businesses and individuals take to ensure their sustainability?

Climate scientists and organisations as the U.N. warn that extreme weather events will be more frequent and severe. For example, the risk of flooding in Europe is expected to significantly increase in the coming decades. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that rising global temperatures will lead to more intense and frequent rainfall across regions contributing to inland flooding. Also, sea level is projected to rise so coastal areas in many European countries will face an increased risk of coastal flooding. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned that climate change could double the risk of floods in some parts of Europe by 2050.

Modelling of risks and timely preparation actions are necessary to secure Sustainability, both for preserving infrastructure and operations, but also to ensure the safety of people and animal lives. For instance, to predict flooding either inland or in coastal zones, a plethora of projections (i.e. future data) is needed through modelling, including the amount of precipitation (rainfall, snow, etc.), slope, area elevation, land use (forest, crops, settlements), distance from rivers and sea, and river runoff. This is why the existence of tools for the prediction of a natural disaster is important and necessary .

The tools used for the prediction and modeling of climate risks are based on projections and Big Data under different climate scenarios. These tools can nowadays achieve high geographical resolutions. Hence, relatively accurate projections can even be achieved also to the level of a business based on its geographical location. The use of these tools can help long-term strategic planning and contribute to the adaptation of cities/settlements and businesses to the challenges posed by climate change. For example, these tools can be used to prioritize geographical areas for the development of flood risk-based zoning plans,  and the establishment of insurance premiums for protection against natural disasters.

RiskClima is an integrated software platform, for the Management of Physical and Transitional Climate Change Risks. RiskClima uses external, widely-acknowledged databases and combines future climate risk projections with  performance indicators, mitigation actions, monitoring dashboards, and ad hoc reports. 

As a case example, using the RiskClima tool, E-On Integration's Climate Change and Sustainability Services dpt. created a flood risk projection map for Europe for 2030 based on the climate 4.5 RCP scenario. This map can be further adapted to each stakeholder's location of operation and different climate scenarios, helping to quantify future flood risks.