Societal resilience and climate extremes (2017-2019)

Climate extremes are one of the major future threats to society, as recognized by several international bodies. Yet, it is difficult to conceive the question: “Which instabilities, tipping points and risk cascades are most likely emerging from the interaction of future climate extremes with ecological and societal systems?” There is lack of systematic assessment which modelling approaches and data from various disciplines can be used to better constrain this question. In addition, climate extremes are usually defined with extreme weather events in mind, while risks to society emerge as well from longer-term (e.g. decadal) extreme climatic conditions, including slow onset events.

Thus, the key goal of this working group is to envision how far the German and international scientific community may come in the next 5-10 years to answer the above question, addressing the following specific goals:

  • Enter into a dialogue with relevant stakeholders on existing and desired models for an optimized decision making in this context. Clarify the missing key elements.
  • Analyze appropriate and achievable approaches and methods of coupling socio-economic and behavioral models with climate and ecological models for being capable of indicating the risk of extreme impacts on social-ecological systems.
  • Elaborate how to leverage existing data for model improvement (from plausibility check to hypothesis testing to data assimilation), and how to acquire new data.
  • Identify what climate extremes are most threatening to social-ecological system and what metrics are most useful risk indicators across time-scales?
  • Envision high-level strategies of how societal resilience can be enhanced in light of the identified risk cascades.
Working group members
Expected output