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August 2018

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Trends in occurrence of high-intensity monsoon rainfall events during the 20th century in the Indian Himalaya
Alok Bhardwaj

Trends in occurrence of high-intensity monsoon rainfall events during the 20th century in the Indian Himalaya

Event date: 3 August 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Alok Bhardwaj
About the speaker:

Dr Alok Bhardwaj is a new research fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University. His research aims to understand the science of natural hazards including extreme rainfall, landslides, and floods, using remote sensing, hydro-meteorology and field studies. He has focused his research efforts on Asia to impact better coordination and quick response to natural hazards.

He recently completed his PhD in Physical Geography from the National University of Singapore in March 2018. Prior to this, he obtained his Masters (M.Tech.) in Remote Sensing from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India and Bachelors (B.Tech.) in Civil Engineering from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India.


High-intensity monsoon rainfall in the Indian Himalaya generates multiple environmental hazards, for example, the devastating large flash flood and many small and large landslides in the western Indian Himalaya in June 2013. This study examines the long-term trends (1901-2013) in the intensity and frequency of high-intensity monsoon rainfall events of varying depths (high, very high and extreme) in the upper Ganga Catchment in the Indian Himalaya. Using trend analysis on the Indian Meteorological Department rainfall dataset, statistically significant positive trends are found in all categories of monsoon rainfall intensity and frequency over the 113-year period. The majority of the trends for both intensity and frequency are spatially located north of the Main Central Thrust (MCT) in the Higher Himalayan region encompassing upstream sections of the upper Ganga Catchment. The extreme rainfall trends for both intensity and frequency are found to be only located in the vicinity of the upstream section of the Mandakini Catchment. Our results further indicate that the highest frequency of large-scale events in the last 113 years occurred under the negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) scenario. Also, the AO is more likely to influence the occurrence of extreme monsoon events than events of a smaller magnitude. The implications of these findings are that under the scenario of statistically significant increasing rainfall depths and frequency in the Higher Himalayan region, which is influenced by a dominant negative AO synoptic system, supports the notion of a higher frequency of rainfall-induced hazards in the future.

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Climate Change: Current climatic developments, attribution of natural disasters, political mitigation and adaptation process, regulatory and liability risks
Peter Hoppe

Climate Change: Current climatic developments, attribution of natural disasters, political mitigation and adaptation process, regulatory and liability risks

Event date: 10 August 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Peter Hoppe
About the speaker:

Professor Hoeppe’s academic education is in meteorology (Masters and PhD) and human biology (PhD). Since 2004 he has been a Professor for Biometeorology.

Prof. Hoeppe has worked in different institutes at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and as a postdoc at Yale University (USA). In 2004 Prof. Hoeppe joined Munich Re as Head of the Geo Risks Research Department. In 2008 also Munich Re’s newly founded Corporate Climate Centre became part of Prof Hoeppe’s division, which he headed until the end of 2017.

His main areas of research have been effects of atmospheric processes (heat/cold, UV radiation, air pressure fluctuations) and air pollutants (ozone, particles) on humans and the general assessment of environmental risks. Currently, his research focus is on trends of natural catastrophes and their drivers and on strategies to increase the resilience of societies against these perils. A major topic also is the analysis of the effects of climate change on insurance and the development of strategies on how this industry can contribute solutions for the adaptation and mitigation of global warming.

Prof. Hoeppe is a scientific member of many scientific societies, from 1999 to 2002 he has been the President of the International Society of Biometeorology. He has held expert functions in different UN-Organisations. He is the Chairman of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), which he has founded in 2005 and in 2017 has been awarded the UNFCCC “Momentum for Change” award at COP23. From 2006 to 2017 he has been a member of the High-Level Advisory Board for the „OECD International Network on Financial Management of Large-Scale Catastrophes”. In 2007 Prof. Hoeppe has been appointed as Global Warming Advisor of the Bavarian State Government and Chair of the “Finance-Forum: Climate Change” of the high-tech Strategy of the German Federal Government. In 2009 he has been one of the initiators of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. In 2014 he became Chairman of the “Münchener Universitätsgesell-schaft”, the sponsoring association of the “Ludwig-Maximilians-University”, Munich. In July 2018 he has been appointed Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore.

 


Global warming has become tangible more than ever in the last years. The last four years have been the warmest across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. 17 of the 18 warmest years since 1880 occurred between 2001 and 2017. 2018 has brought intense heat waves in many regions and has set many new temperature records in the northern hemisphere.

2017 globally has been the costliest year in respect to losses caused by extreme weather events. Especially three disastrous hurricanes with partly record intensities have contributed to this. There is scientific evidence that climate change increases the intensity of tropical cyclones. There is also evidence that climate change already has contributed to more heat waves and more intense thunderstorm related loss events. 

195 countries have signed the Paris agreement in 2015 and thus have committed themselves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to develop adaptation plans to the already unavoidable consequences of global warming. Part of the Paris agreement also is that the industrialized countries will support the developing countries in their adaptation efforts. Climate insurance like the G7 InsuResilience project is part of this. Especially in Southeast Asia, the protection gap is large with only 3.5% of natural disaster losses being insured. 

The Paris agreement has increased the pressure on large emitters of greenhouse gases, more and more lawsuits are filed to get compensation from the polluters for increasing losses. As climate science provides more and more evidence for attribution the chances for successful lawsuits are increasing. NGOs are increasing their pressure on large emitters and the financial industry investing and insuring industries with large CO2 emissions.

The World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018 has classified “Extreme weather events”, “Natural disasters” and “Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the current three largest risks.

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Earthquake source images from high frequency waveforms – application and uncertainty analysis
Zeng Hongyu

Earthquake source images from high frequency waveforms – application and uncertainty analysis

Event date: 17 August 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Zeng Hongyu
About the speaker:

Hongyu received his Bachelor and Master degree in Nanjing University, China, in 2013 and 2016, respectively, and now is a Research Associate at EOS working in Shengji’s group. His research interests focus on the earthquake source study using high-frequency seismic waveforms. Also, he is working on 3D waveform simulation.


In the last decade, back-projecting high-frequency (HF) seismic waveforms have been evidenced of great value to image HF radiation and the spatial and temporal evolution of great earthquakes. However, so far few comprehensive error analyses for back-projection (BP) methods have been conducted, although it is evident that HF seismic waves are strongly affected by source depth, focal mechanisms and the Earth’s 3D velocity structures. Here we perform 1D and 3D synthetic tests in which we know the exact source information to investigate the impacts of these factors on the uncertainties in BP results, by using two high resolution BP methods, MUltiple SIgnal Classification (MUSIC) [Meng et al., 2011] and Compressive Sensing (CS) [Yao et al., 2011]. We generate synthetic data for virtual sources with different depths, focal mechanisms by embedding them in the 1D and 3D velocity models. We then back-project the synthetics using MUSIC or CS based on the array configurations. Our synthetic tests for source depth show that the depth phases can be back-projected as pseudo-sources swimming towards the array. For instance, when the source is placed at a depth of 10km, BP images the depth phases as strong signals at ~8km away from the true location. Such bias increases with depth, e.g., the error could be about 20km for a depth of 30km. For complex rupture process that involves different focal mechanisms, the seismograms display significant discrepancies in different arrays. Using the 2016 Mw7.8 Kaikoura earthquake as a scenario, we show that the differences in BP results from South America array and Australian array are primarily due to the change of focal mechanism at the final stage of the rupture, which largely explains the results derived from the real data. Finally, we also test the impact of 3D velocity structures by generating synthetic data for an earthquake in Java subduction zone at shallow depth. We show that the strong and long-lasting coda waves due to 3D near trench structure can be mirrored as artificial sources far from the true source. In summary, our analyses indicate that the impact of various factors, such as those tested in this study, should be considered when interpreting any detailed BP image to infer the earthquake rupture kinematics and dynamics.

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A Critical Perspectives on Crisis Informatics
Prof. Robert Soden

A Critical Perspectives on Crisis Informatics

Event date: 21 August 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Prof. Robert Soden
About the speaker:

Robert is a PhD Candidate in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder working on Crisis Informatics, human-centered computing (HCC), and science and technology studies (STS). His research and technical practice examine the various ways in which scientific and engineering understandings of climate change and disaster shape and constrain societal responses to these challenges. He holds a Master's Degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University and Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Robert is the co-founder of Co-Risk Labs, http://co-risk.org, a worker-owned consultancy focused on effective and ethical use of science and technology in the disaster and climate change space.
 
Prior to starting his PhD, Robert was a consultant to the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction, and Recovery (GFDRR), http://gfdrr.org, where he launched the Open Data for Resilience Initiative, http://opendri.org, a worldwide effort to harness open data, civic technology, and public participation to improve disaster risk management.
 
Robert currently resides in Oakland, CA, where he is researching information systems related to sea-level rise as part of his dissertation. Since moving to California he has been a visiting student researcher with University of California, Berkeley's Centre for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society,  http://cstms.berkeley.edu and a visiting researcher and lecturer with the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative, http://cstms.berkeley.edu.


Over the past 20 years, the practices of crisis preparedness, response, and recovery have become increasingly dependent on information and communication technology (ICT) to accomplish their work. These developments have been tracked by an emerging research area in human-centered computing called crisis informatics. My work makes the case for a closer connection between crisis informatics and critical social research into disaster, big data, and science and technology studies (STS). In this talk I will draw on examples from two of my field sites - flood hazard mapping in Boulder, Colorado and post-earthquake damage assessment in Nepal - to ask questions about the role of ICTs in shaping our understanding of, and guiding our response to, crisis. I argue for the adoption of a more critical agenda for crisis informatics research to better respond to contemporary challenges presented by climate change and natural hazards.

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Seminar by Dayana Schonwalder-Pansino
Dayana Schonwalder-Pansino

Seminar by Dayana Schonwalder-Pansino

Event date: 24 August 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: To be confirmed
Speaker: Dayana Schonwalder-Pansino
About the speaker:

Details to follow


Details to follow

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Seminar by Arnold Gordon
Arnold Gordon

Seminar by Arnold Gordon

Event date: 28 August 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Arnold Gordon
About the speaker:

Arnold Gordon


Details to follow

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