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resilienceA new policy and practice note that disseminates findings from the BIOPICCC project was published by the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) research partnership and is now available online.

The brief authored by Executive Director of IHRR Professor Sarah Curtis, Dr Jonathan Wistow and Dr Val Dimitri, ‘Ensuring resilience in care for older people’, provides guidance for care services for older people to ensure the resilience of their infrastructures and systems to withstand future impacts of climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

Introduction – the recent UK storms

The recent UK storms have brought exceptionally wild coastal weather, in particular to southern and western England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This has had a profound impact on the geomorphology of the British coast.  The Met Office has a nice summary of these storms.  The combination of strong winds, high tides, large waves and saturated ground has greatly accelerated coastal processes, promoting failure of large rock masses.  The BBC has a nice article that highlights some of these changes – for example:

Porthcothan Bay in Cornwall

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A few interesting press conferences on hazards worth checking out from the 2013 American Geophysical Union Meeting. Topics include tornadoes, improved warnings for earthquakes and lightning phenomena during volcanic eruptions.

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The satellite image above is of the supercell storm in Oklahoma that caused over 20 deaths, hundreds of injuries and immense damage to residences and public buildings.

This time-lapse video shows how the storm evolved over time:

While this part of the US is not unfamiliar with deadly tornadoes (see this map of killer tornados), further preparations could be made to help prevent loss of life and injuries. If extreme weather events continue to happen more frequently then ways to manage and strengthen infrastructure is essential. Read the rest of this entry »


The UK’s chief government scientist Sir John Beddington announced that world leaders need to urgently tackle climate change, especially because of increasing trends towards more extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms over the next 25 years.  The more extreme and erratic forms of weather that the UK has experienced in recent years may become more common due to a changing climate.

Prof Sarah Curtis who is the Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience was interviewed by both television and radio media recently about what can be expected for the future.  Prof Curtis  mentioned the importance of planning with local authorities and national planning being taken by government to adapt to a changing climate, and that focused preparation and planning are needed to cope with variable climate and extreme weather events. Read more

Not something you see everyday — a snow-covered desert.  The Taklimakan Desert in western China, the country’s largest desert, was covered with snow after a storm swept through the area in late December 2012 and continued into early January (the area also received snow in 2008).  The cold wave hit different parts of China including Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China and northeast China.  Could it be attributed to the melting of arctic sea ice pushing colder weather south?  This seems a question worth further exploration. Clearly, extreme weather events of this kind are not limited to certain geographic areas as last year’s cold snap in Europe also demonstrated.


References and Further Reading

Storm turns Taklimakan Desert White. Earth Observatory

Temperature continues to drop as cold snap lingersXinhua News Agency

China’s ice weather shatters records. Mother nature network

Catching up with some of the news on extreme weather events in the US for 2012, according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) it was the second most costliest year for weather disasters behind 2005, which included Hurricane Katrina.  In 2012, US insurance companies spent about 58 billion USD on natural disasters, with Hurricane Sandy (25 billion USD) accounting for 43 percent of the total cost.  In comparison, damages caused by Hurricane Katrina cost 46.6 billion USD, according to Insurance Information Institute.  Currently, large parts of the US continue to experience severe to exceptional levels of drought (see US Drought Monitor).

This video reviews extreme weather in the US for 2012.

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Hazard Risk Resilience Magazine Issue 2 Out Now!

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