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Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018

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Strengthening Weather and Climate Resilience - An Open-Source Modelling Approach

Improving the resilience of our societies in the face of volatile weather and climate change is an urgent priority today and will increase in importance in the decades to come. Weather and climate of the past is by no means a sufficient basis for decisions going forward. While measures exist to strengthen resilience in an ever-changing environment, decision makers need the facts to identify the most cost-effective instruments, they need to know the potential weather and climate-related impacts over the coming decades, to identify measures to mitigate these risks – and to decide whether the benefits will outweigh the costs. Using state-of-the-art probabilistic modelling we estimate the expected economic impact of weather as a measure of risk today, the incremental increase from economic development and the further incremental increase due climate change. We then build a portfolio of resiliency measures, assessing the damage aversion potential and cost-benefit ratio for each. The results of this open-source modeling effort illustrate that a balanced portfolio of resiliency measures allow to pro-actively manage weather and climate risk. The application of a worldwide consistent, yet locally specific methodology to strengthen weather and climate resilience therefore allows integrating adaptation with economic development and sustainable growth.

David N. Bresch
ETH Zurich


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