Compounding hydroclimatic extremes

Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events (e.g. storms, floods, heatwaves) are expected to increase in the future, with disruptive impacts on socio-ecological systems.

When extreme events occur in combination and involve more than one climate variable, they are referred to as compound events. For example, concurrent heatwave and below-normal precipitation in France last summer resulted in devastating combined hazards related to heat, drought, fire and air pollution at a much larger scale than isolated hazards could have caused. 

So far, compound hydroclimatic events and their impacts are poorly understood. This project will develop a method to capture hydroclimatic compound events in terms of frequency, duration, intensity and spatial extent, and move beyond the current assessment of isolated climate impacts. This will be achieved by developing sustainable adaptation strategies for water, energy and land systems through a cross-sectoral approach:

  • Hotspots: Developing a typology and methodology to characterize compound hydroclimatic events (in terms of frequency, duration and intensity) and identify hotspots under future climate conditions.
  • Cross-sectoral impacts: Assessing socio-economic and environmental impacts through analysis of the interrelations and trade-offs between energy-, water- and land systems.
  • Mitigation & adaptation: Proposing mitigation and adaptation strategies considering cross-sectoral trade-offs and synergies between Sustainable Development Goals