Hurricane Season Combined With COVID-19 Pandemic

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COVID 19 Perfect Storm

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When severe environment conditions engage with stress factors to social systems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects might be extreme unless specialists from varied backgrounds interact to establish detailed options.

When severe environment conditions engage with stress factors to social systems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects might be extreme unless specialists from varied backgrounds interact to establish detailed options to fight their unfavorable effects.

That’s the suggestion of a brand-new short article in Nature Climate Change released Monday and co-authored by a University of Central Florida scientist.

Thomas Wahl, an assistant teacher in UCF’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering and a member of UCF’s National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, is among 14 specialists with varied backgrounds who authored the short article.

“In the perspective article my input mainly focused on the impacts of connected extremes on the water sector,” Wahl states. “With my research group at UCF, we have extensively worked on many different projects focused on compound flooding, when, for example, storm surges coincide with extreme rainfall or high river discharge.”

The short article combined researchers and stakeholder agents with various backgrounds, varying from the lives sciences to social sciences, public health and engineering.

The authors concentrated on 4 primary sectors —food, water, health and facilities —where linked extremes frequently result in unpredicted effects.

Examples of linked extremes consist of the effect of Hurricane Maria in 2017 on Puerto Rico’s under-maintained facilities, restricted budget plan and aging population, and the spring 2011 Mississippi River floods in which water was launched to safeguard city locations at the hinderance of farming lands.

A present example might be the COVID-19 pandemic and the existing cyclone season, Wahl states.

“The COVID-19 crisis will very likely increase the impacts associated with the climatic extreme events that will inevitably occur somewhere across the globe over the next weeks or months or already have occurred,” Wahl states.

“For example, shelters cannot operate at full capacity, health care systems are already under pressure, and emergency funds are depleted.”

The scientist states much of the most impactful natural dangers experienced over the previous years might be thought about linked extremes, where either various consider the physical environment system integrated in regrettable methods or the effects were worsened by interactions in between physical and social systems.

“It’s important to recognize and treat connected extremes as such, and for scientists from different fields to engage directly with stakeholders and decision makers to develop new, robust and flexible policies to better combat their negative impacts,” Wahl states.

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Reference: “Understanding and managing connected extreme events” by Colin Raymond, Radley M. Horton, Jakob Zscheischler, Olivia Martius, Amir AghaKouchak, Jennifer Balch, Steven G. Bowen, Suzana J. Camargo, Jeremy Hess, Kai Kornhuber, Michael Oppenheimer, Alex C. Ruane, Thomas Wahl and Kathleen White, 15 June 2020, Nature Climate Change.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0790-4

Article co-authors were Colin Raymond, lead author, with California Institute of Technology and Columbia University; Radley M. Horton with Columbia University; Jakob Zscheischler with the University of Bern; Olivia Martius with the University of Bern; Amir AghaKouchak with the University of California; Jennifer Balch with the University of Colorado-Boulder; Steven G. Bowen with Aon; Suzana J. Camargo with Columbia University; Jeremy Hess with the University of Washington; Kai Kornhuber with Columbia University; Michael Oppenheimer with Princeton University; Alex C. Ruane with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Kathleen White with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Wahl made his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Siegen, Germany, and signed up with UCF in 2017.



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