Science & Technology

Perfect Storm Approaching: Hurricane Season Combined With COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID 19 Perfect Storm

When excessive local weather situations work together with stressors to social programs, such because the COVID-19 pandemic, the implications could possibly be extreme except consultants from various backgrounds work collectively to develop complete options.

When excessive local weather situations work together with stressors to social programs, such because the COVID-19 pandemic, the implications could possibly be extreme except consultants from various backgrounds work collectively to develop complete options to fight their detrimental impacts.

That’s the advice of a brand new article in Nature Local weather Change revealed Monday and co-authored by a College of Central Florida researcher.

Thomas Wahl, an assistant professor in UCF’s Division of Civil, Environmental and Building Engineering and a member of UCF’s Nationwide Middle for Built-in Coastal Analysis, is certainly one of 14 consultants with various backgrounds who authored the article.

“Within the perspective article my enter primarily centered on the impacts of linked extremes on the water sector,” Wahl says. “With my analysis group at UCF, now we have extensively labored on many alternative tasks centered on compound flooding, when, for instance, storm surges coincide with excessive rainfall or excessive river discharge.”

The article introduced collectively scientists and stakeholder representatives with completely different backgrounds, starting from the pure sciences to social sciences, public well being and engineering.

The authors centered on 4 major sectors —meals, water, well being and infrastructure —the place linked extremes typically result in unexpected impacts.

Examples of linked extremes embody the influence of Hurricane Maria in 2017 on Puerto Rico’s under-maintained infrastructure, restricted funds and growing older inhabitants, and the spring 2011 Mississippi River floods through which water was launched to guard city areas on the detriment of agricultural lands.

A gift instance could possibly be the COVID-19 pandemic and the present hurricane season, Wahl says.

“The COVID-19 disaster will very probably improve the impacts related to the climatic excessive occasions that may inevitably happen someplace throughout the globe over the following weeks or months or have already got occurred,” Wahl says.

“For instance, shelters can’t function at full capability, well being care programs are already underneath strain, and emergency funds are depleted.”

The researcher says most of the most impactful pure hazards skilled over the previous decade could possibly be thought-about linked extremes, the place both various factors within the bodily local weather system mixed in unlucky methods or the impacts had been made worse by interactions between bodily and societal programs.

“It’s necessary to acknowledge and deal with linked extremes as such, and for scientists from completely different fields to interact immediately with stakeholders and resolution makers to develop new, sturdy and versatile insurance policies to raised fight their detrimental impacts,” Wahl says.

###

Reference: “Understanding and managing linked excessive occasions” 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 Local weather Change.

Article co-authors had been Colin Raymond, lead writer, with California Institute of Expertise and Columbia College; Radley M. Horton with Columbia College; Jakob Zscheischler with the College of Bern; Olivia Martius with the College of Bern; Amir AghaKouchak with the College of California; Jennifer Balch with the College of Colorado-Boulder; Steven G. Bowen with Aon; Suzana J. Camargo with Columbia College; Jeremy Hess with the College of Washington; Kai Kornhuber with Columbia College; Michael Oppenheimer with Princeton College; Alex C. Ruane with the Goddard Institute for Area Research; and Kathleen White with the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers.

Wahl earned his doctorate in civil engineering from the College of Siegen, Germany, and joined UCF in 2017.

Back to top button