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Climate and Risk Work Unit

The Climate and Risk work unit is advancing the technology required to assess coastal risk from extreme weather events. The focus is on methodologies that are not strongly tied to the historical record and that consider climate change as a potential risk factor.

Synthetic Storm Tracks for 500-yr North Carolina Flood Study
Advancement in risk assessment for extreme events requires methodologies not strongly tied to historical records and consideration of climate changes. The estimation of hurricane risk factors is being advanced through a new statistical methodology termed the Joint Probability Method - Optimal Sampling (JPM-OS). The methodology is not as strongly tied to the short historical record as the commonly used Empirical Simulation Technique. The Joint Probability Method (JPM) provides a probabilistic description of the frequency, tracks, and storm characteristics (i.e., pressure deficit, radius of maximum winds, forward velocity, etc.) at or near landfall. It allows for the incorporation of uncertainty due to many factors and can include consideration of climate variability. Furthermore the JPM-OS determines an optimal combination of storms parameters, and the associated weights, to be used in the calculation of exceedence probabilities with manageable sample sizes and reasonable execution times. Climate changes must also be considered in the assessment of risk and the characterization of hurricane surges. The potential role of climate variations is being quantified through investigation of hurricane frequency-intensity relationship cycles over the past 40 years.

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