EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Scenarios of social-environmental extremes 

Gabriele Messori1,2,3, Maria Rusca4, and Giuliano Di Baldassarre1,2
Gabriele Messori et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science (CNDS), Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3Department of Meteorology and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester, U. K.

In a rapidly changing world, what is today an unprecedented environmental extreme event may soon become the norm. Such unprecedented events, and the related disasters, will likely have highly unequal socio-economic impacts. We investigate the relation between genesis of unprecedented events, accumulation and distribution of risk, and recovery trajectories across different societal groups, thus conceptualising the events as social-environmental extremes. We specifically propose an analytical approach to unravel the complexity of future extremes and multiscalar societal responses-from households to national governments and from immediate impacts to longer term recovery. This combines the physical characteristics of the extremes with examinations of how culture, politics, power and policy visions shape societal responses to unprecedented events. As end result, we build scenarios of how different societal groups may be affected by, and recover from, plausible future unprecedented extreme events. This new approach, at the nexus between social and natural sciences, has the concrete advantage of providing an impact-focused vision of future social-environmental risks, beyond what is achievable within conventional disciplinary boundaries. In this presentation I will illustrate an application to a future extreme flooding event in Houston. However, the approach is flexible and applicable to a wide range of extreme events.


How to cite: Messori, G., Rusca, M., and Di Baldassarre, G.: Scenarios of social-environmental extremes , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1073,, 2022.

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