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Natural Hazards, Arctic and climate change

Klaus Peter
Scientific organization
NRAL/Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Academic degree
Dr rer nat, Professor
Leading Scientist, Head of Laboratory
Scientific discipline
Earth Sciences, Ecology & Environmental Management
Natural Hazards, Arctic and climate change
Under the Mega-grant programme the “Natural Risk Assessment Laboratory” NRAL at MSU from 2010 – 2014 has focused on identifying natural risks in Russia’s coastal zone, estimating their probability and assessing their impact on specific locations or areas.
The discussion will also address the lessons learnt in the mega-grant programme P220 and provide an outlook.
Natural hazards, risk assessment, climate change projections, socio-economic impact, CMIP5 scenarios

In NRAL we drew on expertise in Earth Sciences, Sociology, Economics. Except for seismic events we looked at past, present and future pattern of wind-fields, temperature, precipitation, snow and permafrost and their individual and compound statistics. Besides using long observational records, retrograde model runs helped to understand the specific probability. Using the individual characteristics, or signatures of such extreme events, model projections of climate change, based on CMIP5 results were used to describe local and regional developments. In a second step, socio-economic characteristics for several areas or regions have reviewed under these climate change scenarios to describe the impact on natural conditions, land and economic use and development. This together with regional risk assessments are being used to increase awareness of natural hazards, provide input in designing preparedness measures and response design.
Since 2014, NRAL, with new funding, has moved to the Arctic Environmental Laboratory AEL to use previous findings and results, both methodological, scientific and technical, to address the specific problems of the Russian Arctic, both ashore and at sea. The main issue being addressed is the general water cycle, and the changes in its components under temperature changes due to climate change. The implications for permafrost, vegetation, and land cover are considerable, in the end affecting all forms of human use of the high Arctic.
The presentation will focus on the main results, their implications on science, administrations and indicate priorities for future implementation, i.e. in land use, infrastructure planning and economic management.