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

Recent advances in global analysis of critical infrastructure networks in a changing climate

Jim Hall1, Tom Russell1, Jasper Verschuur1, Raghav Pant1, Max Robertson1, Thibault Lestang1, Nataliya Tkachenko1, Rob Lamb2, and Edward Oughton3
Jim Hall et al.
  • 1Univeristy of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2JBA Trust, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales
  • 3George Mason University - USA

There has been rapid progress in the development of capabilities to analyse infrastructure networks on very large scales, up to global scales. This is enabled by the growing availability of geospatial data products with global coverage and computational capabilities, which enable processing of these datasets and analytics on large-scale. Global analyses of the risks from climatic hazards to infrastructure networks serve several important purposes:

  • Quantified risk estimates in future climate scenarios contribute to the overall picture of the scale of climate risks worldwide, which helps to motivate climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • Geospatial analysis of hotspots of infrastructure vulnerability helps to target adaptation actions.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of adaptation enables the prioritization of scarce adaptation resources.
  • Quantified climate risk analysis is increasingly required for financial disclosure of physical climate risks by infrastructure investors.

There are inevitable limitations to global-scale analyses, but they enable cross-country comparisons, and the monitoring of changing risks and national infrastructure resilience. Global analyses also provide a convenient starting point for national analyses and a motivation to collect better data to inform national-scale decisions.


Here we present recent developments in capability for global-scale climate risk analysis to infrastructure networks. The analysis combines (i) global-scale probabilistic hazard layers (including floods, hurricanes and coastal storm surges); (ii) infrastructure asset and network exposure, for energy, transport and telecommunications networks (iii) analysis of the people and economic activities that are dependent upon these networks. This quantified risk analysis framework has been efficiently implemented for global-scale computations, yielding new results on the scale of climate-related risks. Analysis of resource flows on networks and their connection to infrastructure users is enabling calculation of the numbers of people and economic activity that may be disrupted in catastrophic events. A recent development has been in the introduction of probabilistic event sets for hurricanes and flooding, which enables accurate estimation of the impacts from spatially extensive extreme events. The research is being made available as part of the Global Resilience Index Initiative and as an open source toolset and interface for geospatial visualisation.





How to cite: Hall, J., Russell, T., Verschuur, J., Pant, R., Robertson, M., Lestang, T., Tkachenko, N., Lamb, R., and Oughton, E.: Recent advances in global analysis of critical infrastructure networks in a changing climate, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1484,, 2022.