Research Topic

Multivariate Extremes and Compound, Interconnected and Cascading Events: Understanding the Past and Projections into the Future

About this Research Topic

Extreme weather and hydroclimatic events, such as floods, tropical cyclones, heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires have caused significant impact on society. Due to global warming polar ice is melting more quickly than expected, with drastic implications for rising sea levels and coastal populations in low lying areas. Globally the economic stress and damage from natural disasters are estimated at about US$ 165 billion in 2018. The weather or climate extremes often occur simultaneously or successively. Such clustered or multivariate climate extremes produce extreme impacts even when either extreme in isolation would not be considered to be particularly severe. The combination of such events or variables that result in extreme impact is typically referred to as a compound or paired extremes.

Despite the significant societal concern, the available literature on multivariate climate events and compound extremes has just begun to attract attention in recent decades. Detection and attribution of changes in multivariate time series are more challenging than in its univariate counterparts since multivariate series can be decomposed into several univariate series that in turn could be mutually dependent on each other. Space-time dependence and interdependence between hydroclimatic variables make the study of compound events and their impacts conceptually challenging. Further, climate change could exacerbate the complexity of the system and induce non-stationarity in the individual drivers as well as the dynamic combinations of these variables. Notwithstanding, multi-hazard and multivariate approaches are required to assess the risk of such events.

The goal of this Research Topic is to develop attribution of extreme hydroclimatic events in a multivariate context, compound, interconnected, and cascading events, which have been associated with natural hazards and climate change at a regional and global context. Here we focus on a range of natural hazards, for example, the interdependence between correlated climate attributes in influencing singular extreme events; the interactions among multiple hazards and their impacts on natural and built environment systems. The hazards include:
● Extreme precipitation, rain-on-snow events, fluvial, and coastal flood dynamics, sea-level rise and storm surges
● Heat-waves, droughts, and wildfires
● Extreme winds, storms, and tropical cyclones
● Multisite occurrence of paired extreme events.
Attributing these events across space and time requires a combination of physics-based and statistical approaches.

This collection invites peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, case studies that unveil novel insights in the areas of the interconnected, compound, and cascading natural hazards at the intersection of rapid urbanization and changing climate. This topic invites following studies including but not limited to:
● New mathematical frameworks and conceptualization of attributing hydroclimatic events in a multivariate context.
● Exploration of new datasets and tools for attributing compound, interconnected, interacting, and cascading hazard.
● Analyzing the past, quantification of uncertainty associated with future projection, unveiling trend in the Anthropocene.
● Investigations focused on adaptive responses and policy recommendations - linking health, society, and environment, to inform public, researchers, and stakeholders.


Keywords: hydroclimatic extremes, compounding risk, interconnected and cascading hazard, critical infrastructure, societal resilience, water security


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Extreme weather and hydroclimatic events, such as floods, tropical cyclones, heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires have caused significant impact on society. Due to global warming polar ice is melting more quickly than expected, with drastic implications for rising sea levels and coastal populations in low lying areas. Globally the economic stress and damage from natural disasters are estimated at about US$ 165 billion in 2018. The weather or climate extremes often occur simultaneously or successively. Such clustered or multivariate climate extremes produce extreme impacts even when either extreme in isolation would not be considered to be particularly severe. The combination of such events or variables that result in extreme impact is typically referred to as a compound or paired extremes.

Despite the significant societal concern, the available literature on multivariate climate events and compound extremes has just begun to attract attention in recent decades. Detection and attribution of changes in multivariate time series are more challenging than in its univariate counterparts since multivariate series can be decomposed into several univariate series that in turn could be mutually dependent on each other. Space-time dependence and interdependence between hydroclimatic variables make the study of compound events and their impacts conceptually challenging. Further, climate change could exacerbate the complexity of the system and induce non-stationarity in the individual drivers as well as the dynamic combinations of these variables. Notwithstanding, multi-hazard and multivariate approaches are required to assess the risk of such events.

The goal of this Research Topic is to develop attribution of extreme hydroclimatic events in a multivariate context, compound, interconnected, and cascading events, which have been associated with natural hazards and climate change at a regional and global context. Here we focus on a range of natural hazards, for example, the interdependence between correlated climate attributes in influencing singular extreme events; the interactions among multiple hazards and their impacts on natural and built environment systems. The hazards include:
● Extreme precipitation, rain-on-snow events, fluvial, and coastal flood dynamics, sea-level rise and storm surges
● Heat-waves, droughts, and wildfires
● Extreme winds, storms, and tropical cyclones
● Multisite occurrence of paired extreme events.
Attributing these events across space and time requires a combination of physics-based and statistical approaches.

This collection invites peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, case studies that unveil novel insights in the areas of the interconnected, compound, and cascading natural hazards at the intersection of rapid urbanization and changing climate. This topic invites following studies including but not limited to:
● New mathematical frameworks and conceptualization of attributing hydroclimatic events in a multivariate context.
● Exploration of new datasets and tools for attributing compound, interconnected, interacting, and cascading hazard.
● Analyzing the past, quantification of uncertainty associated with future projection, unveiling trend in the Anthropocene.
● Investigations focused on adaptive responses and policy recommendations - linking health, society, and environment, to inform public, researchers, and stakeholders.


Keywords: hydroclimatic extremes, compounding risk, interconnected and cascading hazard, critical infrastructure, societal resilience, water security


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 February 2021 Manuscript
22 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 February 2021 Manuscript
22 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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