Natural Hazards

Science dissemination

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.


Anthropogenic changes of the landscape and natural hazards

Anthropogenic changes of the landscape and natural hazards

In this post, I had the pleasure to interview Paolo Tarolli, a very active member of the EGU community and a brilliant scientist. He is Professor in Water Resources Management and Integrated Watershed Management, and head of Earth Surface Processes and Society research group at the Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy). He has a PhD in Environmental Watershed Management and Geomatics and has worked as academic staff at the Università degli Studi di Padova since 2011. He was Visiting Professor at several universities (e.g. China University of Geosciences, Guangzhou University, National Cheng Kung University, EPFL), and Adjunct Professor at University of Georgia and Università Politecnica delle Marche.

Paolo Tarolli is also very active in science dissemination, being Executive Editor of the open access journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and Science Officer of the Natural Hazards division (NH6 remote sensing & hazards) at the European Geosciences Union (EGU). He is also a member of the European Geosciences Union, the American Geophysical Union, and the British Society for Geomorphology.

His fields of expertise include digital terrain analysis, earth surface processes analysis, natural hazards, geomorphology, hydro-geomorphology, lidar, structure-from-motion photogrammetry; new research directions include the analysis of topographic signatures of human activities from local to regional scale.

1) Humans are having an increasing impact on the Earth, and the term Anthropocene is now commonly used to define the period we are living in to highlight the strong influence of human beings. How are humans shaping the Earth?


Conceptual diagram of long-term changes in sociocultural systems, cultural inheritances, societal scale, energy use and anthropogenic geomorphic features (source: Tarolli et al. 2019, Progress in Physical Geography, doi:10.1177/0309133318825284)

Human societies have been reshaping the geomorphology of landscapes for thousands of years, producing anthropogenic geomorphic features ranging from earthworks and ditches to settlements, agricultural terraces, ports, roads, canals, airports and constructed wetlands that have distinct characteristics compared with landforms produced by natural processes. Human societies are transforming the geomorphology of landscapes at increasing rates and scales across the globe. These anthropogenic patterns, directly and indirectly, alter Earth surface processes while reflecting the sociocultural conditions of the societies that produced them. In my recent paper published in Progress in Physical Geography[1] (a research collaboration with some colleagues with a different background, e.g. geomorphology, ecology and archaeology), we introduced the concept of “sociocultural fingerprints”. We connected the novel Earth system processes provided by the emergence and evolution of human societies with their continuous shaping and reshaping of Earth’s geomorphology from the deep past into the foreseeable future. We underlined the opportunity to recognize the geomorphic signatures of sociocultural fingerprints across Earth’s land surface using high-resolution remote sensing[2] combined with a theoretical framework that integrates the natural and sociocultural forces that have and will shape the landscapes of the Anthropocene. Doing so, the long-term dynamics of anthropogenic landscapes can be more effectively investigated and understood, towards more sustainable management of the Earth system.

[Read More]

Time for submissions: sessions proposed by NhET at the next EGU conference!

Time for submissions: sessions proposed by NhET at the next EGU conference!

The new year is approaching, and at the beginning of 2019, there is also the deadline for the submission of abstracts for the next EGU conference in Wien, from the 7th to the 12th of April 2019. The Natural hazards Early career scientist Team has proposed many sessions and short courses. Below you can find a list of them.


We also remind that there is the opportunity for financial support to attend EGU. The deadline to apply and submit the abstract is the 1st of December and more information can be found on the dedicated section of the website of EGU19.



Remember:you can submit an abstract to a session until the 10th of January 2019, 13:00 CET. And don’t forget the One-Abstract Rule, what does it mean? “Authors are allowed as first author to submit either one regular abstract plus one abstract solicited by a convener, or two solicited abstracts. A second regular abstract can be submitted to the EOS programme group (the maximum number of abstracts, including solicited abstracts, remains two)”. You can submit following the links of each session below.


Session NH6.7/BG2.61/GI3.21/SSS13.17

Hazard and risk assessment of climate related impacts on Agricultural and Forested Ecosystems using Remote Sensing and modelling (co-organized)

Convener: Jonathan Rizzi  | Co-conveners: Luigi Lombardo, Mahesh Rao, Wenwu Zhao

Abstract submission


Session NH9.11/ESSI1.8/GI1.11/GMPV6.3/HS11.44/SM3.7/SSS13.19

Methods and Tools for Natural Risk Management and Communications – Innovative ways of delivering information to end users and sharing data among the scientific community (co-organized)

Convener: Raffaele Albano  | Co-conveners: Valeria Cigala, Jonathan Rizzi

Abstract submission


Session NH9.5

Hazard and Risk Databases

Convener: Emanuela Toto

Abstract submission


Session NH1.8/HS11.61

Implementation of Flood Directive in different countries (co-organized)

Convener: Emanuela Toto | Co-convener: Nilay Dogulu

Abstract submission



Short courses are open to everyone, but we invite you to pre-register in order to help to organize the course in the best way (not mandatory). You can find pre-registration forms in the courses’ description.


Session SC1.49/NH10.2

The “Social” in Disaster Resilience: Risk Perception and Preparedness (co-organized)  Convener: Canay Doğulu  | Co-conveners: Mariana Madruga de Brito , Jonathan Rizzi


Session SC2.11

Research speed dating

Convener: Luigi Lombardo  | Co-conveners: Mariana Madruga de Brito , Jonathan Rizzi , Giulia Roder


Session SC2.10

Serious games for Natural Hazards: understand the different roles in natural hazard prevention and management through a simple exercise

Convener: Valeria Cigala  | Co-conveners: Francisco Cáceres , Graziella Devoli , Canay Doğulu , Jonathan Rizzi

Bridging the gap between science and decision makers – a new tool for nuclear emergencies affecting food and agriculture

Bridging the gap between science and decision makers – a new tool for nuclear emergencies affecting food and agriculture

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has developed an online system to assist in improving the response capabilities of authorities in the event of an emergency caused by natural hazards. This tool provides a clear overview of radioactive contamination of crops and agricultural lands through improved data management and visualization, it also assists in decision support processes by suggesting management actions to decision makers. In this interview, we have the pleasure to introduce Ms Amelia Lee Zhi Yi, working at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture to speak about DSS4NAFA, said system that will be extensively discussed hereafter.

1)  Nuclear Emergency Response (NER) for food and agriculture – why is that important and what does that entail?

In the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency, the response should be performed swiftly in the interest of human health. After ensuring the well-being of the population, it is necessary to prioritize the assessment of possible radioactive contamination of crops and agricultural lands to avoid ingestion of radioactivity.

Proper data management, data visualization and risk communication are essential for efficient response to a nuclear emergency. Factors that should be considered for such response include support for sampling and laboratory analysis, optimal allocation of manpower and analytical instruments, and integrated communication between stakeholders.

To make well-informed decisions on for instance planting and food restrictions, food safety authorities need to have a good understanding of the radiological conditions after a fallout event. This is accomplished through the collection of environmental samples such as soil and plants, and food products that are then analysed using consistent methods in qualified laboratories. Further, these data should be displayed in an intuitive manner so that authorities will be able to interpret the data under stressful, time-bound conditions. Finally, to reduce confusion and clearly communicate decisions made to the public, standardized communication protocols of the decisions made by policymakers need to be implemented. [Read More]