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

Guidelines for studying diverse types of compound weather and climate events

Emanuele Bevacqua1,2, Carlo De Michele3, Colin Manning4, Anaïs Couasnon5, Andreia F. S. Ribeiro6,7, Alexandre M. Ramos7, Edoardo Vignotto8, Ana Bastos9, Suzana Blesić10, Fabrizio Durante11, John Hillier12, Sérgio C. Oliveira13, Joaquim G. Pinto14, Elisa Ragno15, Pauline Rivoire16, Kate Saunders17, Karin van der Wiel18, Wenyan Wu19, Tianyi Zhang20, and Jakob Zscheischler1
Emanuele Bevacqua et al.
  • 1UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, 04318, Germany
  • 2Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
  • 4School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
  • 5Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 6Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, Zurich 8092, Switzerland.
  • 7Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.
  • 8Research Center for Statistics, University of Geneva, 24 rue du Général-Dufour, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 9Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Dept. of Biogeochemical Integration, 07745 Jena, Germany.
  • 10Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade and Center for Participatory Science, Belgrade, Serbia.
  • 11Department of Economic Sciences, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy.
  • 12Geography, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK.
  • 13Centre for Geographical Studies and Associated Laboratory TERRA, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
  • 14Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • 15Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, 2628 CN, Delft, Netherlands.
  • 16Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • 17School of Mathematical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Gardens’s Point, Brisbane, Australia.
  • 18Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands.
  • 19Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • 20State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Compound weather and climate events are combinations of climate drivers and/or hazards that contribute to societal or environmental risk. Studying compound events often requires a multidisciplinary approach combining domain knowledge of the underlying processes with, for example, statistical methods and climate model outputs. Recently, to aid the development of research on compound events, four compound event types were introduced, namely (a) preconditioned, (b) multivariate, (c) temporally compounding, and (d) spatially compounding events. However, guidelines on how to study these types of events are still lacking. Here, we consider four case studies, each associated with a specific event type and a research question, to illustrate how the key elements of compound events (e.g., analytical tools and relevant physical effects) can be identified. These case studies show that (a) impacts on crops from hot and dry summers can be exacerbated by preconditioning effects of dry and bright springs. (b) Assessing compound coastal flooding in Perth (Australia) requires considering the dynamics of a non-stationary multivariate process. For instance, future mean sea-level rise will lead to the emergence of concurrent coastal and fluvial extremes, enhancing compound flooding risk. (c) In Portugal, deep-landslides are often caused by temporal clusters of moderate precipitation events. Finally, (d) crop yield failures in France and Germany are strongly correlated, threatening European food security through spatially compounding effects. These analyses allow for identifying general recommendations for studying compound events. Overall, our insights can serve as a blueprint for compound event analysis across disciplines and sectors.

How to cite: Bevacqua, E., De Michele, C., Manning, C., Couasnon, A., Ribeiro, A. F. S., Ramos, A. M., Vignotto, E., Bastos, A., Blesić, S., Durante, F., Hillier, J., Oliveira, S. C., Pinto, J. G., Ragno, E., Rivoire, P., Saunders, K., van der Wiel, K., Wu, W., Zhang, T., and Zscheischler, J.: Guidelines for studying diverse types of compound weather and climate events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2325,, 2022.


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