NH
Natural Hazards

Science communication

Hot topic for a hot summer: extreme weather and climate events in the ANYWHERE project – A Pan-European Platform for Multi-Hazard Early Warning and associated Impacts

Hot topic for a hot summer: extreme weather and climate events in the ANYWHERE project – A Pan-European Platform for Multi-Hazard Early Warning and associated Impacts

Henny van Lanen.

In this post, I have the pleasure to interview Dr.ir. Henny A.J. van Lanen. He is Associate Professor in the Hydrology & Quantitative Water Management Group of Wageningen University and he has been involved in several EU projects. Further, he is involved in many international groups or networks:

  • Coordinator of the European FRIEND programme (EURO-FRIEND Water, Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data; cross-cutting theme UNESCO-IHP);
  • Past Global Coordinator of the FRIEND Inter-Group Coordination Committee (FIGCC) (cross-cutting theme UNESCO-IHP);
  • Coordinator of the European Drought Centre (EDC);
  • Member of the Open Panel of CHy Experts (OPACHE) of Commission of Hydrology (CHy) from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO);
  • member of the Discussion Group on Droughts of the UN-International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR);
  • member/chair of the Project Review Group of Global Water Partnership (WM-GWP) on Integrated Drought Management in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE-IDMP).
1. Media are talking more frequently of extreme weather and climate events: why are they so important for our society?

Extreme Weather and Climate events (W&C) cause natural hazards, and when vulnerable human and natural systems are exposed to these W&C hazards, they may lead to disasters. For instance, from 2011 to 2013, the USA faced 24 weather-related disasters that led to about 1100 fatalities, which resulted in more than $200 billion in losses. Similar experiences of weather-induced disasters and their associated losses are reported for Europe. Moreover, there seems to be a growing trend. Summer 2019 has barely begun, but temperature records are already being broken. Recent data show that the European-average temperature for June 2019 was higher than for any other June on record. Average temperatures were more than 2°C above normal and it has become the hottest June ever recorded. This led to associated dry hazards, e.g. wildfires, but also to abrupt endings, like the powerful early-July storm in northern Greece that killed six people. The apparently rising trends go hand in hand with increasing populations, assets and ecosystems’ risk.

Dry, natural hazards (drought, heatwaves, wildfires) cause severe impacts and likely will intensity in the future in multiple areas across the world (photos: Henny Van Lanen).

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Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

The diffusion of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. in addition to traditional blogging led to a diversification in the impact of science communication. However, as Eryn Brown and Chris Woolston wrote in Nature last January, blogs continue to be effective platforms for disseminating research into the world and increase the discovery of science. This is the reason why we believe our natural hazards blog is fundamental to increase outreach activities of the EGU community with particular attention – but not limited to early career scientists. Therefore, we are happy to introduce new possibilities to interact with us.

  1. We are a community, and for this reason, we would like to give you the space to get engaged in the blog by writing articles as guest authors. We warmly welcome your ‘stories from the field’ telling us what you do, which methodologies or instruments you are using, which advantages or limitation you are facing. You can also write about your research digesting complex topics, review natural hazards related movies, comment artworks, interview senior researchers or policymakers, share your experiences in latest summer schools or workshop you have participated, etc. We offer team spirit, technical support, editing on your writing and scientific networking.
  2. We have a community, and for this reason, our knowledge and networking might help in answering your questions or curiosities. You might be curious about the natural hazards occurrence in your region, or understanding the causes of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010. You might show concern about gender inequality during disasters discovering which are the instruments researchers and practitioners can put in place to overcome these social vulnerabilities. We, therefore, encourage to freely ask your questions related to natural hazards. You can write in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, but answers will be published in English in the blog, with some highlights in your native language.

 

Whether the reason for your interest, we ask you to communicate with us via this Google Form and we will get back to you. Be patient since this blog is run on a voluntary base.

 

#EGU19 program is ready! Are you ready for it?

#EGU19 program is ready! Are you ready for it?

#EGU19 program is ready! Are you ready for it?

 

The next EGU’s General Assembly is taking place in one week! We bet you already started planning your program for the week, that Natural Hazard (NH) sessions are included, and, especially if you are an Early Career Scientist (ECS), you have found many sessions and courses targeting your specific needs and interests.

 

What fits more to your interests: Attend talks and posters, learn and improve skills, or take an active role in a serious game? Or maybe a mix of all of them? To get to the point, the Natural hazards Early Career scientist Team (NhET) is organizing 3 sessions and 4 short courses during the General Assembly that you can find in the NH division program. Let’s have a look at them! And remember that the conference last until Friday, and that we have interesting activities to convince you remaining at the conference until the very last minute!

 

Before presenting the program, we would like to invite all ECS to become an active part of NhET and help us organising these activities also in the future. If you have ideas for new sessions or short courses to be proposed at next year’s conference or if you want to help us in the ones already proposed this year, please contact us!

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The CRED presents the bill: the socio-economic cost of natural disasters.

The CRED presents the bill: the socio-economic cost of natural disasters.

Which type of natural disaster is the most frequent? And which one causes the largest economic losses? Which populations are mainly affected? What are the necessary steps to reduce natural disasters’ impact? If you have ever wondered about any of these questions, you’d be interested to know that there is an institute answering all of them with a series of reports and ad hoc publications.

We are talking about the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). The CRED is based, since 1973, at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and since 1980 it’s a collaborator of the World Health Organization (WHO). Their main goal? Study public health during a mass emergency as well as the structural and socio-economic impact of natural and technological disasters and human conflicts. They maintain the world’s most comprehensive database (EM-DAT) on occurrence and effects of technological and natural disasters from 1900 to the present day: more than 22,000 events and counting. [Read More]