Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Decision Analysis for Flood Risk and Climate Change

Room: Salon C   10:30 am–12:00 pm

Chair(s): Matthew Bates

Sponsored by Decision Analysis and Risk Specialty Group

M2-C.1  10:30 am  An integrated approach for aiding collaborative decision-making: the flash flood emergency management in Lorca (Spain). Pluchinotta I*, Giordano R, Pagano A, Tsoukias A; University Paris Dauphine

Abstract: Over the last few years, a number of natural disasters have demonstrated the need for quick and effective responses, to minimize the number of deaths and injuries, as well as the financial cost associated with damage and losses. Response needs to be provided under the severe stress of crisis conditions, and requires effective coordination among several institutional and non-institutional actors. Enhancing the coordination effectiveness of different responders has been considered from multiple perspectives. Most of these studies suggested that involved agencies claimed for a fast though-smooth and well-structured distributed and collaborative decision-making process. Nevertheless, the implementation of collaborative decision-making approaches has received limited attention. This is mainly due to the existing gaps between the traditional emergency management methods characterized by centralization and hierarchy-based structures and the actual collaborative management process, characterized by non-hierarchical structure and flexibility. In order to address the above mentioned issues, a methodology based on the integration among the Storytelling approach (SA), Problem Structuring Methods (PSM) and Social Network Analysis (SNA) has been adopted. On one hand, this work aims at demonstrating that the integration between SA and PSM allows integrating the macro- and the micro-level in analysing and unravelling the complexity of the emergency management. On the other hand, this work evaluates the suitability of the PSM-SNA integrated modelling approach to create significant knowledge system to stakeholders, and support decision-making. The potential of the integrated approach has been investigated in the Lorca (Spain) flood risk management case study.

M2-C.2  10:50 am  Biased risk and benefit perception of human and nature-caused climate change. Hoogendoorn G*, Sütterlin B, Siegrist M; ETH Zürich

Abstract: The recent climate changes on Earth have a strong impact on humans and nature. The public opinion regarding the cause of climate change is inconsistent, and both human interference and natural processes are named as possible causes. However, previous studies have shown that the consequences of human-induced and nature-induced hazards are differently perceived. In multiple experiments, we found the same bias in the perception of the consequences of human- or nature-induced climate change. In the first experiment, we demonstrated that the exact same positive consequences are perceived to be more beneficial when caused by nature-induced climate change rather than human-induced climate change. In the second experiment, we showed that the exact same negative consequences of climate change are estimated to have a larger negative impact on the environment when they are human-induced rather than nature-induced. Moreover, in this second experiment, we revealed that people estimate the perceived need to act upon the consequences of climate change to be larger when the climate change is human-induced rather than nature-induced. These results have strong implications for both the perception of the consequences of climate change as well as the willingness of the people to take action.

M2-C.3  11:10 am  Coastal protection for megacities. Xian SY*, Lin N, Oppenheimer M, Feng KR; Princeton University

Abstract: Coastal flood risk increases with time owing to rapid coastal development and the effect of climate change. In response to the increasing risk in the future, many coastal megacities have constructed protection systems with very high-standards such as the Thames Barrier in London, the ‘dike rings’ in Amsterdam and sea wall for Shanghai. However, other important coastal megacities including NYC have low level of flood protection. Superstorm Sandy in 2012 raises up a wide discussion about how to design flood protection measures for NYC. Return level design specifies the safety standard but cannot consider the temporal variations of the hazard and vulnerability, coastal exposure development and building characteristics due to building code. Economically optimal design considers both hazard and vulnerability but is sensitive to the topography. In this study, we first provide a methodology framework to integrate the estimation of temporal flood hazards from probabilistic risk assessment of hurricanes and storm surge, the vulnerability of the urban assets at the building-level, to pursue return-level design and optimal flood adaptation strategies for local-scale coastal protection. Optimal design minimizes the combined cost of flood adaptation and future expected losses (in present value). We also explore dynamic adaptation design strategy that allows the temporal increments of the protection levels, using algorithm of dynamic programming. We apply these design strategies to lower Manhattan, NYC. The aim is to find out an integrated design strategy that takes advantage of both the standardized return-level design and optimal design and allow policy makers to make cost-effective and robust decisions. Incorporating dynamic adaptation design may be a good option especially when we are unsure about future variations in climate, sea level, building characteristics and urban environment from scientific and engineering model projections.

M2-C.4  11:30 am  Accelerating adaptation: Urgency, barriers, and constructed risk in Miami Beach’s pivot to sea level rise adaptive stormwater management. Treuer G*, Bolson J; University of Miami and Florida International University

Abstract: Climate change induced sea level rise threatens coastal communities with increased flooding, displaced populations, and degraded infrastructure. Cities are already experiencing increased flooding during high tides and impacts are projected to be exponentially worse by 2050. The potential losses can be reduced through adaptation, however the ahistorical nature of climate change requires new solutions. To find effective, efficient, and equitable adaptation solutions local governments must take the risk of experimenting with untested approaches. Adaptation experiments are often disrupted or blocked by a variety of barriers, however lessons from early actors can help. The city of Miami Beach’s rapid pivot towards sea level rise adaptive stormwater management, beginning in 2013, provides a useful case to observe how barriers arise despite political and financial support. This study extends the Relational Theory of Risk by defining three aspects of the risk relationship in climate change risks, and uses it to identify mechanisms present in the dynamic, interdependent relationship between urgency as a driver of policy change and barriers to climate adaptation in Miami Beach. We find that barriers arose only after the city set its agenda and began implementing adaptation actions, attracting new stakeholders into the process. Also, adaptation actions that address risks at multiple timescales, e.g. raising streets, were the most successful. Finally, facilitation coordinated within the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Flooding and Sea Level Rise was essential for capitalizing on urgency, creating legitimacy for action, and overcoming barriers as they emerged during the initial period of accelerated change.

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