Photo (above) from blog, I’m a college student who met the world’s top climate scientists. Here are 5 things I learned Panel discussion at the Columbia University Workshop on Correlated Extremes moderated by Kate Marvel from NASA/GISS (right). Panel members (from left to right): Prof Adam Sobel (Columbia University), Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University) and Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (University of New South Wales).

by Nina Ridder

In May, Columbia University hosted the Workshop on Correlated Extreme Events. A total of 175 participants attended the mix of presentations, posters and discussions evolving around the topic of correlated extremes. CLEX was represented by Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick and Dr Nina Ridder.

The workshop was kicked off by a panel discussion on the topic with CLEX Associate Investigator Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Prof Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University), and Prof Adam Sobel (Columbia University). The following two and a half days consisted of talks on the topic with sessions dedicated to different varieties of correlated extremes.

Correlated extremes, or Compound Events, are weather and climate extremes that are caused by a combination of multiple variables or hazards. The joint occurrence of multiple hazards often exacerbates the socio-economic impact of these events compared to events consisting of the same hazards occurring in isolation of each other. As such, compound events require different statistical analysis methods compared to conventional extreme events which has important implications for risk assessment.

One well known example for Compound Events are coastal floods that are caused by a combination of high surge levels due to strong winds, heavy precipitation and/or high river discharge that often occur during tropical cyclones or east coast lows.

CLEX is actively involved in strengthening the field of Compound Event research in Australia with Dr Nina Ridder working on various types of compound events within the centre.

A student who attended the conference also wrote this blog for PBS, I’m a college student who met the world’s top climate scientists. Here are 5 things I learned, that offers an interesting non-researcher perspective on the workshop.