Ongoing research projects

Development of risk assessment methods for cloudburst damages

In the field of disaster risk management, risks are often seen as a combination of hazard and vulnerabilities. Applied on cloudbursts, the hazard is represented by rainfall amount, its intensity and the resulting water level, while the vulnerability is determined by the assets in the area affected by the cloudburst, such as buildings and infrastructure. Geographical factors such as the shape of the terrain play a role because the topography determines where and how fast the water flows. Prior research on rainfall damages in Sweden mainly focused on the hazard but in this project the vulnerabilities of the built environment will be in focus.

The proposed project aims to develop methods for assessment of damages and costs caused by cloudbursts in Sweden and its results can be used as support in decision-making processes on risk reducing and climate adaptation measures.

When it rains it pours: Biogeophysical drivers and societal responses to compound natural hazard events in Sweden

Cloud burst

Climate change increases the risk of extreme natural hazard events, such as wildfires, extreme precipitation events and floods. Society is generally well prepared to effectively respond to single natural hazard events, but less is known about the ability to cope with compound natural hazard events, that is, several events occurring simultaneously or sequentially. This project aims to: (i) develop an integrated map of natural hazard events in Sweden, (ii) explore causal chains of compound events, and assess social vulnerabilities in exposed areas, and (iii) assess collective capacities to achieve effective collaboration in planning and response to mitigate the effects of these compound events.

  • Duration of the project: 2021-2023
  • Funding: 3.4 Million SEK (The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity)
  • People involved: Johanna Mård (PI, UU-CNDS), Daniel Nohrstedt (UU-CNDS), Örjan Bodin (SRC)

The Transformative Potential of Extreme Weather Events: Triggers for Disaster Risk Reduction and Development [TRAMPOLINE]

Extreme weather events inflict major losses and disproportionally affect lower income countries, yet conditions for accelerating implementation of public policy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) are poorly understood. The TRAMPOLINE project aims to investigate extreme hazard events as potential triggers for changes in DRR policy and development. Utilizing data on DRR policy from 2007-2018, a new dataset of climate extremes and disasters, interviews, and public sources, the project will document the extent to which these events prompt policy change worldwide and assess whether variations  can be explained by income-levels, event magnitude, regular exposure, diffusion effects, agenda-setting, political mobilization, and learning.

ERC Project HydroSocialExtremes: Unraveling the mutual shaping of hydrological extremes and society

Droughts and floods affect more than 100 million people per year, and cause thousands fatalities and dramatic losses. Humans respond and adapt to the impacts of floods and droughts, while influencing (deliberately or not) their frequency, magnitude and spatial distribution. The dynamics resulting from this interplay, i.e. both response and influence, remain still poorly understood, and current risk assessment methods do not explicitly account for them. Thus, while risk reduction strategies built on these methods can work in the short-term, they can generate unintended consequences in the long-term. HydroSocialExtremes aims to unravel the mutual shaping of society and hydrological extremes, and develop new methods for planning risk reduction measures.

Extreme events in the coastal zone – a multidisciplinary approach for better preparedness

Photo showing waves

The overarching scientific questions to be addressed in this project are: To what extent does climate change alter the occurrence of extreme events, including storms, storm surges as well as heavy precipitation, and the severity of their impacts in the coastal zone; how can improved modelling lead to better preparedness, help mitigate consequences to society, and to understand key uncertainties; and what is the most effective method of communicating these risks to society?

Atmospheric rivers - key features for understanding extreme hydrometeorological events

Water vapor imagery of the eastern Pacific Ocean from the GOES 11 satellite, showing a large atmospheric river aimed across California in December 2010. This particularly intense storm system produced as much as 26 in (66 cm) of precipitation in California and up to 17 ft (520 cm) of snowfall in the Sierra Nevada during December 17–22, 2010.

Atmospheric rivers are long narrow bands of large integrated water vapor transport in the troposphere. At land fall they are usually associated with extreme conditions in terms of wind and precipitation. There is a growing interest in atmospheric rivers, concerning their regional impacts on water availability, the modulation by climate variability and their representation in weather and forecast models. Air-sea interaction processes are major modulators, (i) in the source area over the large oceans and by (ii) coastal processes at land fall. How atmospheric rivers interact with surface conditions and coastal features is to a large extent unknown. The ultimate goal of the project is to quantify the importance of air-sea interaction on atmospheric rivers for better prediction of extreme events in the coastal zone.

Resilience in Sweden: Governing, Social Networks and Learning

The project will study how society can handle the impacts of a changing climate and remain resilient. Resilient here meaning an ability to retain steering and control and society's vital functions. The research will contribute to societal utility by increasing the knowledge and understanding of societal resilience, but also through concrete and practical advice on what actions that is needed in terms of changed or reformed legislation, decision making processes, models of collaboration, and organizational structures.

  • Duration of the project: 2018-2022
  • Funding: Swedish Civil Contincencies Agency (MSB)
  • People involved: Mikael Granberg (PI, KaU), Lars Nyberg (KaU)
Last modified: 2021-07-26