Superstorm Sandy is merely the most recent high-impact weather event to raise concerns about extreme weather events becoming more frequent or more severe. Previous examples include the western European heatwave of 2003, the Russian heatwave and the Pakistan floods of 2010, and the Texas heatwave of 2011. However, it remains an open question to what extent such events may be “attributed” to human influences such as increasing greenhouse gases. One way to answer this question is to run climate models under two scenarios, one including all the anthropogenic forcing factors (in particular, greenhouse gases) while the other is run only including the natural forcings (e.g. solar fluctuations) or control runs with no forcings at all. Based on the climate model runs, probabilities of the extreme event of interest may be computed under both scenarios, followed by the risk ratio or the “fraction of attributable risk”, which has become popular in the climatology community as a measure of the human influence on extreme events. This talk will discuss statistical approaches to these quantities, including the use of extreme value theory as a method of quantifying the risk of extreme events, and Bayesian hierarchical models for combining the results of different climate models. This is joint work with Xuan Li (UNC) and Michael Wehner (Lawrence Berkeley Lab). Event flyer.
SI Leadership Council member Sauleh Siddiqui is the guest-lecturer of the Mar-25 E2SHI seminar on how mathematics can be used to solve today’s big challenges in energy, climate and urbanization. Dr. Siddiqui will discuss a modeling framework that provides insight for better intervention in energy and transportation systems. More details here.
The seminar is open to the public.
Today, Tuesday 9/8, Caitlin Doolin of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation is opening up the discussion of the city’s role in the partnership between drivers and bicyclists.
From the Car to the Bike: Infrastructure, Policy and Red Tape
Livable streets that prioritize walking, biking and transit are proven to improve quality of life, improve economic value of neighborhoods, address equity issues and improve health and safety of our cities. It can seem like while the rest of the world is taking off with protected bike lanes and premium transit investments, Baltimore is struggling to catch up, but the reality is this paradigm shift from the car is difficult everywhere. Believe it or not it was even difficult in Copenhagen 40 years ago! Come learn and engage in a discussion about how infrastructure, policy and politics are shaping how our urban streets serve bicyclists.