Institute of Advanced Studies in Climate Extremes and Risk Management

Nanjing, China, 21 October - 1 November 2019 

Overall economic losses caused by natural disasters are increasing worldwide. Many of these natural disasters are weather and climate extremes related. Yet, the impacts and disasters are the results of the complex interplay of climatic, environmental, and human factors. The severity of impacts from weather and climate extremes depend not only on the extremes themselves but also on exposure and vulnerability. Weather and climate extremes are and will be changing due to human-induced climate change. Exposure and vulnerability are also changing because of social and economic development and as responses to weather and climate extremes. These together make it even more challenging than ever to manage disaster risks.     

The climate research community has significantly advanced the understanding of past and future changes in weather and climate extremes. The disaster management community has also significantly developed their understanding of causes of disaster risk. Yet, there is a barrier to the flow of knowledge between the two communities. Disaster risk management towards reducing exposure and vulnerability and increasing resilience to the potential adverse impacts of weather and climate extremes requires the integration of knowledge from both communities. 

Extremes Risks

Image: Oppenheimer et al. 2014; Fig. 19.1.

The Institute of Advanced Studies in Climate Extremes and Risk Management aims at filling this gap by promoting active knowledge exchanges and integration across climate research and disaster risk reduction research communities. This objective will be achieved by two-prolonged approach:

  • To provide a forum and environment in which world-lead experts from the two communities are brought together to learn from each other on weather and climate extremes and disaster risk reduction.
  • To train future leaders in the two disciplines such that they both are familiar with aspects of the other disciplines.

Understanding disaster risk will enable climate experts to generate more tailored climate knowledge and information for risk reduction action. Similarly, understanding past and future changes and uncertainty in the projection of weather and climate extremes will enable risk management experts to use climate information properly and more effectively. 

This Institute of Advanced Studies is organized by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP), led by the WCRP Grand Challenge on Weather and Climate Extremes (GC-Extremes), in collaboration with Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) and Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUIST). This activity was endorsed by the International Science Council (ISC).

Oppenheimer, M., M. Campos, R. Warren, J. Birkmann, G. Luber, B. O’Neill, and K. Takahashi. 2014. Emergent risks and key vulnerabilities. In Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. C.B. Field, V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White, 1039–1099. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.