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Diagnosis, trends, causalities, and predictions of extreme weather events in a climate change environment
One of the consequences of global warming is the increase, in number and intensity, of extreme weather events. The character and severity of its impact depends not only on the nature of the hazards but also on the vulnerability and exposure of communities to climate threats.
The Mediterranean is considered as a climate change hotspot in terms of observed and projected magnitude as well as frequency of extreme events, such as hot extremes, droughts, intense cyclones, which are often responsible of heavy rainfalls and floods. In terms of severe convective events, the observed trends show more uncertainties; however, some studies show indications of increased severity/frequency.
The purpose of this session is to present novel research studies, covering different temporal (from weather to climate) and spatial scales (from local to continental scale). The session will include both current day analysis (numerical simulations of individual case studies, reanalysis data, machine learning approaches), climate change assessment (including climate model simulations) and attributions (pseudo-global warming simulations). The session also welcomes contributions aiming at improving our physical understanding of severe weather in a changing climate, through improved parameterization schemes and numerical weather and climate modeling.
Mario Marcello Miglietta,Vassiliki Kotroni,Jose Luis Sanchez,Chantal Claud
Earth Observation data and techniques for the definition, characterization and monitoring of natural hazards
This session aims at bringing together scientists working on the use of remote sensing observations
and in situ measurements, and physical or statistical/machine learning models, for the definition,
characterization, and pre- and post-event monitoring of natural hazards and extreme events in the
Mediterranean area. The goal of the session is to stimulate the discussion and to contribute to the understanding of climate change interconnection and feedback mechanisms with extreme events occurrence and trends, and with the natural hazards associated to them. Sudies related to the use of long-term data record and new methodologies able to describe and identify patterns and parameters of natural disasters and to define anomalous and rare features of extreme events are encouraged. Some examples include, but are not limited to, heavy precipitation systems, tornadoes and Medicanes, strong winds, droughts and forest fires, floods, debris-flows and landslides, subsidence phenomena, coastal erosion, and glaciers.
The countries bordering the Mediterranean coast are affected each year by disasters that create economic damage and victims, with a serious impact on the economy and the development of the area. Among them hydro-geological disasters are among the worst.
It is therefore of extreme interest to increase knowledge on the physical mechanisms that generate extreme hydro-geological effects, in order to improve the ability to model, evaluate and predict the risks associated with them.
The session accepts contributions that present research on the observations, modeling and forecasting of the extreme hydro-geological processes typical of the Mediterranean and mediterranean-like climates, with special reference to the assessment, forecast and mapping of hazard scenarios, aimed at the assessment and forecast of the hydro-geological risks.
Socio-economic impacts: exposure, vulnerability, prospectives, and adaptation
The analysis of societal impacts of natural hazards has an increasing interest day by day and many national and international projects have created specific working groups to cope with them. Accurate data are needed on economic, human and social impacts of extreme weather events to assess the cost and the efficiency of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies. The different expertise of scientists involved makes such a topic a very example of multidisciplinary approach. Observing and assessing the societal impact constitute major tools for improving DRR, including climate change adaptation and community’s resilience to storm risks in the framework of sustainable development. The objective of this session is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for presentations and discussions of our current state of knowledge about the socio-economic impacts of Mediterranean Storms and their evolution in a context of global change, with special incidence in adaptation constraints and tipping points. Many studies are developed to assess the vulnerability and exposure of societies facing hydrometeorological hazards, especially through the back analysis and the modelling of damage. The last issue deals with the assessment of risk management and different responses developed from different societies and cultural backgrounds, including the ways the citizens react in front of failures of the authority in charge of their protection. The session also addresses how we communicate and educate population, policy makers and relevant stakeholders about natural hazards and disaster risk reduction through medias and social networks. Furthermore, the session intends to address innovative means and mechanisms developed to achieve effective participation of the citizens in the different phases of the risk prevention and management. This session aims to be a meeting point between experts on these matters from universities, civil protection, mass media and so on.
Safeguarding and management of cultural and natural heritage at risk from climate extreme events
The purpose of this session is to show and discuss progress regarding current relevant research and initiatives on Cultural Heritage Risk Management in the framework of climate extreme events. It also aims to increase the awareness, need and requirement of stakeholders and policy makers who are involved in disaster risk reduction processes to become more integrated in their overall approach.
The protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage in the face of global change is increasingly becoming a major concern for decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens worldwide. Disasters and catastrophes greatly impact on the future wellbeing of our heritage assets, with each incident diminishing their cultural significance, historic, physical and artistic value to some degree or other. Such events also pose a significant threat to the safety of occupant and users and, inevitably, directly and adversely affect the livelihood of local communities.
Research into assets at risk, exposure, impact, methodologies and tools for adaptation capacity and strategies is therefore urgently needed to safeguard and preserve Cultural Heritage, both tangible and related intangible aspects, against continuous decay.
This sessions aims to explore sustainable methodologies, tool and strategies for resilience strengthening of Cultural Heritage at risk exposed to climate extreme events in an interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial approach.
Alessandra Bonazza,Jose Antonio Fernandez Merodo
Impacts of climate change and extremes on ecosystems and agriculture
Changes in the Mediterranean climate are expected to increase extreme events such as droughts, floods, forest fires, frosts, heat waves, cold spells, strong winds, heavy storms, hailstorms, and other weather- and climate-driven events. Agricultural and natural ecosystems are impacted by climate change and associated extreme events. Impacts can be short- or long-lasting and include effects on crop yields, forest vitality as well as on pests and diseases. However, ecosystems are complex multitrophic systems where climate change affects each species both directly (e.g., climate favorability) and indirectly by altering biotic interactions with other species. This complexity makes the direction and magnitude of ecosystem impacts difficult to predict and requires enhanced use of increasingly available biophysical data, particularly Earth Observation (EO) data, together with the development of appropriate ecosystem indicators and models. This session will focus on the monitoring and assessment of changes in natural resources, ecosystems, and agriculture in the Mediterranean region, with links to adaptation to and mitigation of environmental changes and the associated biotic and abiotic risks. Special emphasis will be given to recent findings in the following topics:
• using EO for early detection and management of natural disasters affecting Mediterranean ecosystems and agriculture;
• indicators and models for assessing and forecasting climate change effects and risks in Mediterranean ecosystems and agriculture.
Luigi Ponti,Andreja Sušnik,Simone Orlandini
Air quality and Health in the Mediterranean
The objective of this session is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussions of our current state of knowledge about the interplay between air quality, human health, and associated risk in the Mediterranean. This is one of the most controversial topics in current research. The Mediterranean region is affected from frequent dust episodes (originating from the Sahara region and crossing from South to North) and anthropogenic pollution (originating from South Europe and crossing from North to South). Therefore, air pollution in the Mediterranean region impose complex physical-chemical characteristics for aerosols.
Air pollution is one of the leading environmental risk factor for human health globally, especially with regard to ambient fine particular matter, ozone, and some non-criteria pollutants that are considered to have the highest toxicity such as metals, organics, black carbon, allergens, and their partitioning in both fine and ultrafine aerosol particles. The assessment of the associated risk, especially regarding the impact to the lungs, the circulatory system, and the brain is still far from being understood. Despite extraordinary advances, a growing number of challenges remain. An emerging consensus suggests that the time has come for science to establish novel interdisciplinary research partnerships based on cross-sectoral collaborations between different expertise, such as air quality, aerosol science and technology, emission research, meteorology, climatology, toxicology, and epidemiology, governance and risk management. It is necessary to develop significant scientific evidence to guide the development of new recommendations, policies, and legislation. Rethinking science is necessary to meet today’s priorities.
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