Special Issue "Extreme Weather Events: Predictions, Management, Vulnerabilities of Economic Sectors, and Remote Impacts"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ertug Ercin
Website
Guest Editor
R2Water Research and Consultancy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: water economy; vulnerabilities of economic sectors to extreme weather events (production, supply- chain, import dependency); water-commodity trade relations; impacts of extreme weather events to economic sectors (direct and indirect); remote impacts of hydrological extremes and climate change risks; virtual water trade; water footprint
Prof. Bart Van den Hurk
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), VU Amsterdam, Deltares, The Netherlands
Interests: climate change scenarios; impact-based warning; future weather; climate-society interaction; climate service development
Dr. Ted Veldkamp
Website1 Website2
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Water and Climate Risk, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Water Department, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Luxemburg, The Netherlands
Interests: global freshwater resources; hydrological extremes; drought; water scarcity; water-society interactions; risk identification and characterization; adaptation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the growing uncertainty of water availability in the face of climate change, governments, businesses, and communities are becoming aware that they are vulnerable to a wide range of issues associated with water resources such as floods, coastal damage due to salt water intrusions, storms, droughts, and water stress. In response, various stakeholders and water users such as farmers, companies, river basin authorities, regions, and countries are moving forward and increasing their organizations’/regions’ resilience to hydrological extremes.

To improve our understanding of the vulnerabilities of our economic sectors to extreme weather events both now and in future (climate) conditions, we kindly invite researchers to contribute original research articles (theoretical and applied) in the field of (i) use of extreme weather prediction and forecasting in assessing vulnerabilities of economic sectors and associated impacts, (ii) the management of hydrological extremes to build the resilience of economic sectors including climate change adaptation, and (iii) the remote vulnerabilities of economic sectors, embodied in supply chains and imported products, to global extreme weather events.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The use and role of weather forecasting (e.g., short-term, seasonal) in the prediction and management of hydrological extremes;
  • Flood damage modelling and risk assessment;
  • Drought severity modelling, vulnerabilities, and risk management;
  • The (remote) vulnerability of economic sectors to extreme weather events including teleconnections via international trade (imports and export, and the virtual water trade);
  • Vulnerability to compound anomalies and extreme weather events;
  • The (remote) impact of extreme weather events (including climate change) to economic sectors/regions via production losses, supply chain, and imports of commodities;
  • The (remote) impact of extreme weather events on food security, trade relations including the assessment of trade shocks, and failures and economic indicators (e.g., GDP, commodity prices)

We specifically encourage researchers involved in IMPREX (IMproving Predictions and management of hydrological Extremes) and BINGO, Horizon2020 funded projects, to submit research articles.

Dr. Ertug Ercin
Prof. Bart van den Hurk
Dr. Ted Veldkamp
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Forecasting of extreme weather events
  • Use of seasonal forecasting in water management
  • Water stress
  • Virtual water trade
  • Drought severity and vulnerability
  • Flood damage and vulnerabilities of economic sectors
  • Remote vulnerabilities of economic sectors (international trade, supply chain) and spill-over impacts.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Climate Change and Remote Natural Catastrophes on EU Flood Insurance Markets: An Analysis of Soft and Hard Reinsurance Markets for Flood Coverage
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020146 - 29 Jan 2020
Abstract
The increasing frequency and severity of natural catastrophes due to climate change is expected to cause higher natural disaster losses in the future. Reinsurance companies bear a large share of this risk in the form of excess-of-loss coverage, where they underwrite the most [...] Read more.
The increasing frequency and severity of natural catastrophes due to climate change is expected to cause higher natural disaster losses in the future. Reinsurance companies bear a large share of this risk in the form of excess-of-loss coverage, where they underwrite the most extreme portion of insurers’ risk portfolios. Past experience has shown that after a very large natural disaster, or multiple disasters in close succession, the recapitalization need of reinsurers could trigger a “hard” reinsurance capital market, where a high demand for capital increases the price charged by investors, which is opposed to a “soft” market, where there is a high availability of capital for reinsurers. Consequently, the rising costs of underwriting are transferred to insurers, which ultimately could trigger higher premiums for natural catastrophe (NatCat) insurance worldwide. Here, we study the vulnerability of riverine flood insurance systems in the EU to global reinsurance market conditions and climate change. To do so, we apply the “Dynamic Integrated Flood Insurance” (DIFI) model, and compare insurance premiums, unaffordability, and the uptake for soft and hard reinsurance market conditions under an average and extreme scenario of climate change. We find that a rising average and higher variance of flood risk towards the end of the century can increase flood insurance premiums and cause higher premium volatility resulting from global reinsurance market conditions. Under a “mild” scenario of climate change, the projected yearly premiums for EU countries, combined, are €1380 higher under a hard compared to a soft reinsurance capital market in 2080. For a high-end climate change scenario, this difference becomes €3220. The rise in premiums causes problems with the unaffordability of flood coverage and results in a declining demand for flood insurance, which increases the financial vulnerability of households to flooding. A proposed solution is to introduce government reinsurance for flood risk, as governments can often provide cheaper reinsurance coverage and are less subject to the volatility of the capital markets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vulnerabilities of the European Union’s Economy to Hydrological Extremes Outside its Borders
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100593 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change is leading to increased water scarcity and drought in many parts of the world. This has implications for the European Union (EU) because a lot of the water intensive goods consumed or used there are produced abroad. This makes the EU’s [...] Read more.
Climate change is leading to increased water scarcity and drought in many parts of the world. This has implications for the European Union (EU) because a lot of the water intensive goods consumed or used there are produced abroad. This makes the EU’s economy dependent on water resources well beyond its borders since when a country imports water intensive goods, indirectly it also imports virtual water (water needed to produce the imported goods). This study maps the EU’s global dependency on water resources outside its borders in terms of virtual water imports and assesses how water scarcity and drought may disrupt supplies of key food crops that it imports. The EU uses approximately 668 km3 of water for all of the goods it produces, consumes and exports, annually. Around 38% of that water comes from outside its borders, which means that the EU’s economy is highly dependent on the availability of water in other parts of the world. In the near future, supplies of certain crops to the EU could be disrupted due to water scarcity in other parts of the world; a large portion of the water used in producing soybeans, rice, sugarcane, cotton, almonds, pistachios and grapes for import to the EU comes from areas with significant or severe levels of water scarcity. Although the immediate risks to the EU’s economy are due to current water scarcity levels, any disruption to rainfall patterns that occur in the future, due to the effects of climate change in the countries of origin of key crops, could have a far greater impact. This is because as much as 92% of the EU’s total external water demand from agriculture is attributed to green water use, availability of which has relatively higher vulnerability to drought. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Range Numerical Weather Prediction of Extreme Precipitation Events Using Enhanced Surface Data Assimilation
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100587 - 27 Sep 2019
Abstract
A limited-area kilometre scale numerical weather prediction system is applied to evaluate the effect of refined surface data assimilation on short-range heavy precipitation forecasts. The refinements include a spatially dependent background error representation, use of a flow-dependent data assimilation technique, and use of [...] Read more.
A limited-area kilometre scale numerical weather prediction system is applied to evaluate the effect of refined surface data assimilation on short-range heavy precipitation forecasts. The refinements include a spatially dependent background error representation, use of a flow-dependent data assimilation technique, and use of data from a satellite-based scatterometer instrument. The effect of the enhancements on short-term prediction of intense precipitation events is confirmed through a number of case studies. Verification scores and subjective evaluation of one particular case points at a clear impact of the enhanced surface data assimilation on short-range heavy precipitation forecasts and suggest that it also tends to slightly improve them. Although this is not strictly statistically demonstrated, it is consistent with the expectation that a better surface state should improve rainfall forecasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Meteorological and Hydrological Memory on Compound Peak Flows in the Rhine River Basin
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040171 - 31 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Spatio-temporal variation of hydrological processes that have a strong lagged autocorrelation (memory), such as soil moisture, snow accumulation and the antecedent hydro-climatic conditions, significantly impact the peaks of flood waves. Ignoring these memory processes leads to biased estimates of floods and high river [...] Read more.
Spatio-temporal variation of hydrological processes that have a strong lagged autocorrelation (memory), such as soil moisture, snow accumulation and the antecedent hydro-climatic conditions, significantly impact the peaks of flood waves. Ignoring these memory processes leads to biased estimates of floods and high river levels that are sensitive to the occurrence of these compounding hydro-meteorological processes. Here, we investigate the role of memory in hydrological and meteorological systems at different temporal scales for the Rhine basin. We simulate the hydrological regime of the Rhine river basin using a distributed hydrological model (SPHY) forced with 1950–2000 atmospheric conditions from an ensemble simulation with a high resolution (0.11°/12 km) regional climate model (RACMO2). The findings show that meltwater from antecedent anomalous snowfall results in a time shift of the discharge peak. Soil moisture modulates the rainfall-runoff relationship and generates a strong runoff response at high soil moisture levels and buffers the generation of runoff peaks at low levels. Additionally, our results show that meteorological autocorrelation (manifesting itself by the occurrence of clustered precipitation events) has a strong impact on the magnitude of peak discharge. Removing meteorological autocorrelation at time scales longer than five days reduces peak discharge by 80% relative to the reference climate. At time scales longer than 30 days this meteorological autocorrelation loses its significant role in generating high discharge levels. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
A Vision for Hydrological Prediction
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030237 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes (IMPREX) was a European Union Horizon 2020 project that ran from September 2015 to September 2019. IMPREX aimed to improve society’s ability to anticipate and respond to future extreme hydrological events in Europe across a variety [...] Read more.
IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes (IMPREX) was a European Union Horizon 2020 project that ran from September 2015 to September 2019. IMPREX aimed to improve society’s ability to anticipate and respond to future extreme hydrological events in Europe across a variety of uses in the water-related sectors (flood forecasting, drought risk assessment, agriculture, navigation, hydropower and water supply utilities). Through the engagement with stakeholders and continuous feedback between model outputs and water applications, progress was achieved in better understanding the way hydrological predictions can be useful to (and operationally incorporated into) problem-solving in the water sector. The work and discussions carried out during the project nurtured further reflections toward a common vision for hydrological prediction. In this article, we summarized the main findings of the IMPREX project within a broader overview of hydrological prediction, providing a vision for improving such predictions. In so doing, we first presented a synopsis of hydrological and weather forecasting, with a focus on medium-range to seasonal scales of prediction for increased preparedness. Second, the lessons learned from IMPREX were discussed. The key findings were the gaps highlighted in the global observing system of the hydrological cycle, the degree of accuracy of hydrological models and the techniques of post-processing to correct biases, the origin of seasonal hydrological skill in Europe and user requirements of hydrometeorological forecasts to ensure their appropriate use in decision-making models and practices. Last, a vision for how to improve these forecast systems/products in the future was expounded, including advancing numerical weather and hydrological models, improved earth monitoring and more frequent interaction between forecasters and users to tailor the forecasts to applications. We conclude that if these improvements can be implemented in the coming years, earth system and hydrological modelling will become more skillful, thus leading to socioeconomic benefits for the citizens of Europe and beyond. Full article
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