Climate and Disaster Risk

Transdisciplinary assessment and management of risk from natural hazards and climate impacts

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The Climate and Disaster Risk (CDR) research group aims at understanding and modeling impacts and risks related to Natural Hazards in mountainous regions under non-stationary conditions - including Climate Change - at different spatial and temporal scales, with a transdisciplinary, integrated approach. Given the complexity of this challenge, the CDR unit gathers around 15 researchers with expertise ranging from physics, data science and geospatial processing to environmental management, sociology, and anthropology. The activities are organized along four main research lines: climate services, natural hazards, risk assessment and risk governance.

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Climate Services

Development and provision of enhanced and consistent climate information supporting projects and the other research lines. This includes the enhanced characterization of key climate extremes for mountain regions by combining different types of data (e.g. climate data, remote and in-situ observations), and improving the integration of climate information into impact and risk assessment processing chains.

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Natural Hazards

This research line aims at advancing and harmonizing the detection, characterization and prediction of mass movements in mountains at multiple spatial and temporal scales, with a combination of statistical approaches and the exploitation of remote sensing data.

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Risk Assessment

This research line aims at improving (climate) risk assessment and risk analysis as a basis for adaptation and prevention, efficiently harmonising Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. The Risk Assessment research line also aims at leveraging the outcomes of the other three research lines to achieve a balanced integration of quantitative and qualitative approaches in a transdisciplinary framework.

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Risk Governance

The risk governance research line aims at understanding and analysing the multifaceted aspects of the governance of climate and disaster risk, both in theoretical and in applied terms, to improve risk knowledge and risk management. In our current work we analyse and assess community resilience, risk perception as well as risk communication with the aim to integrate them into an inclusive and effective risk governance. In our projects we use quantitative and qualitative social science methods such as questionnaires, interviews, workshops, focused ethnography and focus groups.

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As part of the GreenRisk4ALps project, our researchers organized and moderated a workshop in several study areas along the Alpine region where strengths and weaknesses related to risk management were discussed. The event in the photo, held in the study area "Val Ferret" in Courmayeur (AO) on 19.11.2019, was attended by several authorities of the Italian autonomous region Valle d'Aosta.© Eurac Research
As part of the RiKoST project, middle and high schools from 8 municipalities were involved in the project. In this picture students are attending a lesson about natural hazards.© Eurac Research
Within the RiKoST project meetings were held with mayors, citizens and stakeholders of the municipalities participating in the project to raise awareness on the issue of risk communication. The picture shows a discussion table with the mayor of Braies (BZ) and a technician of the Agency for Civil Protection of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.© Eurac Research
This map shows which regions in Germany could be particularly affected by climate extremes - tropical days, droughts and heavy rainfall in the coming decades.© Eurac Research - Kathrin Renner
Our researchers during a field visit of an eroded channel in the Alai Mountains as part of a study on climate risks in Tajikistan. © Eurac Research
Research group members
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Basil Tufail

Research Group Projects

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CoupEvent: Hillslope - Channel coupling during extreme events in South Tyrol

Duration: February 2020 - February 2022

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Institute's Projects

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

What we do

Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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