Weathering the Storm: tropical cyclone risk under climate change
Brought to you by the COPRI Coastal Engineering Sciences CommitteeChair - Christopher Bender, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE
Tropical cyclones (TCs), also referred to as hurricanes or typhoons, are amongst the deadliest and costliest natural hazards, affecting people, economies, and the environment in coastal areas around the globe when they make landfall. TCs are projected to become more intense in a warming climate, enhancing the risks associated with their wind speeds, precipitation and storm surges. It is therefore crucial to minimize future loss of life and by performing accurate TC risk assessments for coastal areas. Calculating TC risk at a global scale, however, has proven to be difficult, given the limited temporal and spatial information on landfalling TCs around much of the global coastline, and how this is going to change under climate change.
To overcome these limitations, we developed a novel approach to calculate TC risk under present and future climate conditions using the newly developed Synthetic Tropical cyclOne geneRation Model (STORM). STORM is a fully statistical model that can take any input dataset and statistically resamples this to an equivalent of 10,000 years of TC activity under the same climate condition. The resulting publicly available STORM dataset contains of enough TC activity in any coastal region of interest to adequately calculate TC probabilities and risk from. Furthermore, the STORM algorithm has been expanded with a future-climate module, enabling globally consistent local-scale assessments of (changes in) TC risk. This presentation will demonstrate the applicability of the present- and future-climate STORM datasets, particularly in the light of improving our understanding of TC risk.
Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University New York
Dr. Nadia Bloemendaal is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a visiting research fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University New York. She obtained her PhD degree with Cum Laude (“with honors”) distinction in November 2021. Her research focuses on better understanding and communicating tropical cyclone risk and how this changes under climate change. Her research has received international recognition, both from academia and the insurance industry. The STORM dataset has won the 2020 RDNL Dutch Data Prize for best dataset following the FAIR principles. The accompanying paper on the STORM model was awarded second place in the Lloyd’s Science of Risk competition, and Nadia also won third place in the 2020 Allianz Climate Risk Research Award competition, both prizes acknowledging the contributions of her work to better understand risk from an insurance perspective.
In her current position as postdoctoral researcher, she continues to work on quantifying tropical cyclone risk under climate change. She is currently part of the tropical cyclone research group of Prof. Adam Sobel and Prof. Suzana Camargo at Columbia University, where she helps in the development, improvement, and understanding of synthetic tropical cyclone models and wind field modeling.
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