If there is something that we can learn from our experience in the last few years, it is that there are overlapping disaster timelines. Although every place on Earth may be exposed to different climate risk, the impact of a disaster in one region can cascade to other regions. When this happens, a localized event can transform into a nationwide or global fiasco. In 2011, for example, the flooding in Thailand disrupted the global supply chains of computer parts and cars. Droughts will affect global food prices and availability, which can cause food shortages, protests, and instability worldwide. Increased climate risk in one region may spark nomadic population movements leading to migration that impacts the security of other regions. We, therefore, expect that the disaster timelines do not end after a climate event. Furthermore, disasters may unfold in parallel and interact with each other, amplifying shocks and stresses. Hence, there is a need to understand the interconnectedness of disasters and to model the link between current and future disasters. My group develops models that will answer the following questions:
- How do cascading disasters look like?
- What is the causal relationship between a trigger event and the resulting disasters?
- How do we model the chain-sequence of cascading disasters wherein disasters follow a certain order?
- How do we measure the cumulative and cascading effects of disasters?
- How do we measure climate risk under cascading disasters scenarios?