Monday, 10 March 2014

Natural Hazards Science Area

CEH's new Science Strategy identifies three interdependent, major societal and environmental challenges: Securing the Value of Nature, Building Resilience to Environmental Hazards, and Managing Environmental Change. We're delivering our strategy by Science Areas and underpinning activities, and over the next few weeks we are profiling these on our blog.

In this post we focus on our Natural Hazards Science Area, which includes some of our work on floods and droughts. Natural hazards also include threats from parasites, pathogens and invasive species, and threats from natural air pollution incidents.

Natural hazards are of increasing concern for humanity because of population growth and increased societal vulnerability due to trends in urbanisation and land-use change. They have been identified by the National Security Review as some of the most significant risks to the UK in terms of economic, social and environmental consequences.

A key demand is to improve our prediction and estimation of natural hazards and develop knowledge to better manage and minimise their impacts on our society, economy and environment.

Hydro-meteorological science is an important element of our research. Within CEH we have teams of scientists working on furthering our understanding of hydrological processes, water resources, water information management, hydrological status and reporting, the climate system, hydrological modelling and risk, and hydrological modelling and forecasting. Our science and data played a key role in informing UK operational agencies during the recent flooding events.

Our future research objectives include the development of physical and statistical models to better quantify the current and future risks from extreme rainfall and floods at multiple temporal and spatial scales. We are also developing web-based tools for seasonal forecasting of river flows to support flood and drought management in the UK and overseas.

What is a drought? - read more on the CEH website

CEH also has an important research role in helping to develop solutions to tackle problems caused by biological invasions.

We are working on methods to supply predictions of their arrival and spread, underpinned by rigorous risk assessment. We will deliver new systems to predict the arrival of invasive non-native species with particular focus on their pathways of arrival, spread and associated disease pathogens.

Find out more about our Natural Hazards Science Area, including a Science Area Summary [PDF], on the CEH website.

Additional information

CEH Science Strategy 2014-2019

Staff page of Nick Reynard, Natural Hazards Science Area Lead

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