The Physical and Human Dimension of Risk from Future Extremes in a Changing Climate

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room LL20D (San Jose Convention Center)
Claudia Tebaldi, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Risks from future extreme events will be determined by
changes in both the physical climate system -- for example, more frequent and more severe heat waves, heavier precipitation events -- and in characteristics of society -- how much larger the world population will be and where it will live, how income will be distributed, what fraction of  the population will live in urban rather than rural areas, etc.

This talk will focus on the example of coastal flood risks, and will illustrate how future mean sea level rise may change the statistics of storm surges along US coasts. I will then show how the spatial distribution of US population may change in the coming decades, affecting the numbers of people exposed to risks of flooding.  Time permitting, another example of the interaction between expected demographic changes and expected changes in climate extremes may be discussed, in relation to extreme heat events and population concentration.