Guest blog by Edoardo Vignotto, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Statistical modelling of extreme climatological events has recently gained a lot of interest. These events may occur in many different situations, often with dramatic consequences. Some examples are flooding, heat waves, extreme wind speeds, spatially concurring rainfall and long drought periods. In all these cases, it is fundamental to deeply understand the underlying processes, taking into account how the involved hazards interact with each other leading to severe impacts on the society. Moreover, it is important to detect causes that may facilitate extreme events, as well as to develop methods that fully account for the complex dependencies that link relevant risk factors, with the aim of putting in place the best measures to minimize associated losses.
Many extreme impacts are caused by compound events, defined as the concurrent occurrence of multiple and possibly interdependent hazards. Understanding and explaining compound events is the main goal of the COST Action DAMOCLES. Within this Action, in March 2019 a one-week short term scientific mission has been conducted to improve our understanding of processes related to agricultural droughts. Edoardo Vignotto, from the University of Geneva, visited Prof. Zahra Kalantari and her research group at the University of Stockholm. They focused in developing a statistical model capable to better explain droughts risk from multiple meteorological and agricultural viewpoints.
This collaboration is expected to provide the required capacity and methods for analyzing compound events that lead to extreme impacts in this context. In particular, one of the main goals is to produce a global map of the dependence between any of the meteorological and agricultural hazards of interest and severe droughts. The final results will help to better understand the relationship between these hazards and extreme droughts in different places around the world.