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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F037422/1
Title: SWERVE - Severe Weather Events Risk and Vulnerability Estimator
Principal Investigator: Fowler, Professor H
Other Investigators:
Barr, Professor S Thornes, Professor J Davies, Professor M
Cotton, Professor I Kilsby, Professor C Berryman, Professor F
Baker, Professor CJ Hall, Professor JW Hallett, Professor S
Djordjevic, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Nottingham
Department: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2008 Ends: 30 November 2011 Value (£): 466,940
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is now a broad scientific consensus that the global climate is changing in ways that are likely to have a large impact on our society and the natural environment over the coming decades. Global warming, and its impact on extreme weather events, may have a profound influence on the way we live in the future. Recent extreme weather events, such as the unusual number of hurricanes in the US 2005 hurricane season, the unprecedented flooding in central Europe insummer 2002, the tragic loss of life in the European heatwave the following summer, or the severity of flooding in the UK during autumn 2000, have been said to be a possible impact of global warming by the media. This has made us focus our attention on the possible impacts of future climate change on our society but most recent research has focussed on predictions of change in the future frequency and intensity of extreme weather events at a global or regional scale. However, to well-adapt our society to the future impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, we need to know how these events will affect local communities, how they may respond and what emergency and long term planning measures need to be undertaken to increase their resilience. The SWERVE (Severe Weather Events Risk and Vulnerability Estimator) tool will examine these and other fundamental research questions through collaboration with other experts in the UK in an inter-disciplinary research programme called CREW: Community Resilience to Extreme Weather. SWERVE will use information from global climate models and a technique called downscaling to produce relevant information on extreme weather at the local, community level. This will allow us to estimate how often different types of extreme weather, such as floods, storms, drought, heatwaves, etc., may happen both now and in the future. It will also allow us to identify 'hotspots' of risk, where communities may be vulnerable to more than one type of extreme weather event, e.g. they may suffer from floods in the winter and drought in the summer. Using additional modelling tools we will be able to identify locations at risk from these types of extreme weather events down to the postcode level. This information will then be used together with information on our society to identify communities and locations that are particularly vulnerable. The overall output will be a toolkit that decision-makers can use when faced with planning and management decisions for coping with extreme weather events. This will increase the ability of the community to deal with the aftermath and to plan to reduce the impacts of extreme weather.The CREW programme will be a pilot study for a toolkit that could be produced across the UK. The pilot study will focus on the SE London Resilience Zone and engage stakeholders from this region and others across the UK in the development of the toolkit. This will ensure that it is what you and local emergency services, town planners and local government need. We will also look at whether the tool will be useful by applying it to some 'what-if?' cases together with local decision-makers and by testing it in local firms. This new toolkit can be used by managers to design systems that are robust to the impacts of climate change; climate change that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report in February this year, is very likely to be caused by human activities and is likely to cause an increase in extreme weather events.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://www.extreme-weather-impacts.net/twiki/bin/view
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk