Latest Publications

The Impact on Federal Spending of Allowing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act to Expire
Apr 11, 2014 | read more ›

What We Know about Demand Surge
Apr 08, 2014 | read more ›

Determining tropical cyclone inland flooding loss on a large scale through a new flood peak ratio-based methodology
Apr 02, 2014 | read more ›


See more publications

Publications

The WRN produces academic publications, industry reports and presentations. Some of the outputs are accessible below and also classified and integrated into the Research and Impact sections. For further information on publications please contact the research programme leaders or authors.

The Impact on Federal Spending of Allowing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act to Expire

Date: Apr 11, 2014
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Man-made & Political Risks

Author(s): Tom LaTourrette, Noreen Clancy

Summary: Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in 2002, in response to terrorism insurance becoming unavailable or, when offered, extremely costly in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The law creates an incentive for a functioning private terrorism insurance market by providing a government reinsurance backstop for catastrophic terrorist attack losses. Extended first in 2005 and again in 2007, TRIA is set to expire at the end of 2014, and Congress is again considering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets.

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Technology: Fight floods on a global scale

Date: Mar 13, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Nature
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Guy J.-P. Schumann, Paul D. Bates, Jeffrey C. Neal & Konstantinos M. Andreadis

Summary: Bristol and NASA issue call for international co-operation on global-scale flood model

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National Security Perspectives on Terrorism Risk Insurance in the United States

Date: Mar 06, 2014
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Man-made & Political Risks

Author(s): Henry H. Willis, Omar Al-Shahery

Field(s): Community Resilience, Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Of 2002, Terrorism Risk Management, United State

Summary: Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in 2002, in response to terrorism insurance becoming unavailable or, when offered, extremely costly in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The law provides a government reinsurance backstop in the case of a terrorist attack by providing mechanisms for avoiding an immediate drawdown of capital for insured losses or possibly covering the most extreme losses. Extended first in 2005 and again in 2007, TRIA is set to expire at the end of 2014, and Congress is again reconsidering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets. This policy brief examines the potential national security implications of allowing TRIA to expire. Examining the history of terrorism in the United States since the passage of TRIA and reviewing counterterrorism studies, the authors find that terrorism remains a real national security threat, but one that is very difficult for insurers to model the risk of. They also find that terrorism risk insurance can contribute to making communities more resilient to terrorism events, so, to the extent that terrorism insurance is more available with TRIA than without it, renewing the legislation would contribute to improved national security.

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Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk Project

Date: Feb 03, 2014
Type: Paper
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Earthquake
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Bijan Khazai, Christopher Burton, Christopher Power and James E. Daniell

Field(s): GEM

Summary: Central to the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is the development of state-of-the-art modeling capabilities that can be used worldwide for the assessment and communication of seismic risk. For a holistic evaluation of the consequences of earthquake impacts and loss, the Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk Project is focusing on the development of metrics, methods, and OpenSource software tools for the assessment of seismic risk and impact potential beyond the estimation of direct physical impacts and loss of life.

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High resolution global climate modelling; the UPSCALE project, a large simulation campaign

Date: Jan 17, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Geoscientific Model Development
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): M. S. Mizielinski, M. J. Roberts, P. L. Vidale, R. Schiemann, M.-E. Demory, J. Strachan, et al.

Field(s): Hurricanes, Tropical cyclones, Climate change, Climate models, Coupled models

Summary: The UPSCALE (UK on PRACE: weather-resolving Simulations of Climate for globAL Environmental risk) project constructed and ran an ensemble of HadGEM3 (Hadley centre Global Environment Model 3) atmosphere-only global climate simulations over the period 1985–2011, at resolutions of N512 (25 km), N216 (60 km) and N96 (130 km) as used in current global weather forecasting, seasonal prediction and climate modelling respectively. Alongside these present climate simulations a parallel ensemble looking at extremes of future climate was run, using a time-slice methodology to consider conditions at the end of this century.

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Improved evaporative flux partitioning and carbon flux in the land surface model JULES: Impact on the simulation of land surface processes in temperate Europe

Date: Jan 17, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): Catherine Van den Hoof, Pier Luigi Vidale, Anne Verhoef, Caroline Vincke

Field(s): Eddy fluxes measurements; Europe; Evaporative flux partitioning; Land surface model; 2003 heat wave

Summary: The primary role of land surface models embedded in climate models is to partition surface available energy into upwards, radiative, sensible and latent heat fluxes. Partitioning of evapotranspiration, ET, is of fundamental importance: as a major component of the total surface latent heat flux, ET affects the simulated surface water balance, and related energy balance, and consequently the feedbacks with the atmosphere. In this context it is also crucial to credibly represent the CO2 exchange between ecosystems and their environment. In this study, JULES, the land surface model used in UK weather and climate models, has been evaluated for temperate Europe. Compared to eddy covariance flux measurements, the CO2 uptake by the ecosystem is underestimated and the ET overestimated

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Spatial and temporal modeling of radar rainfall uncertainties

Date: Jan 01, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Atmospheric Research
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Gabriele Villarini, Bong-Chul Seo, Francesco Serinaldi, Witold F. Krajewskia

Field(s): Weather radar; Rainfall; Uncertainty; Space–time modeling; NEXRAD

Summary: It is widely acknowledged that radar-based estimates of rainfall are affected by uncertainties (e.g., mis-calibration, beam blockage, anomalous propagation, and ground clutter) which are both systematic and random in nature. Improving the characterization of these errors would yield better understanding and interpretations of results from studies in which these estimates are used as inputs (e.g., hydrologic modeling) or initial conditions (e.g., rainfall forecasting).

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The sensitivity of the tropical circulation and Maritime Continent precipitation to climate model resolution

Date: Dec 31, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Climate Dynamics
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): R. Schiemann, M.-E. Demory, M. S. Mizielinski, M. J. Roberts, L. C. Shaffrey, J. Strachan, P. L. Vidale

Field(s): Precipitation Climate model bias Resolution GCM Boundary conditions Maritime Continent Walker circulation Coastal tiling

Summary: The dependence of the annual mean tropical precipitation on horizontal resolution is investigated in the atmospheric version of the Hadley Centre General Environment Model. Reducing the grid spacing from about 350 km to about 110 km improves the precipitation distribution in most of the tropics. In particular, characteristic dry biases over South and Southeast Asia including the Maritime Continent as well as wet biases over the western tropical oceans are reduced. The annual-mean precipitation bias is reduced by about one third over the Maritime Continent and the neighbouring ocean basins associated with it via the Walker circulation.

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Rainfall extremes: Toward reconciliation after the battle of distributions

Date: Dec 23, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Water Resources Research
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi, Chris G. Kilsby

Field(s): extreme events;precipitation;time series analysis;peak-over-threshold analysis;heavy tail behavior

Summary: This study attempts to reconcile the conflicting results reported in the literature concerning the behavior of peak-over-threshold (POT) daily rainfall extremes and their distribution.

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Determining tropical cyclone inland flooding loss on a large scale through a new flood peak ratio-based methodology

Date: Dec 20, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Environmental Research Letters
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Jeffrey Czajkowski, Gabriele Villarini, Erwann Michel-Kerjan and James A Smith

Summary: In recent years, the United States has been severely affected by numerous tropical cyclones (TCs) which have caused massive damages. While media attention mainly focuses on coastal losses from storm surge, these TCs have inflicted significant devastation inland as well. Yet, little is known about the relationship between TC-related inland flooding and economic losses.

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The Insurance Industry Must Champion Sustainability

Date: Dec 01, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Thunderbird International Business Review Vol. 55, No. 6 November/December 2013
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Insurance & Sustainable Business
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Matthew I. Shea, James W. Hutchin

Field(s): Sustainablity

Summary: The insurance industry is uniquely placed in our economies as a private market mechanism for the sharing of risk, with the global pooling of what would be risks otherwise carried by individuals estimated at US$400 trillion (Insurance Working Group of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, 2009). As risk pooling is instrumental for the efficient functioning of economies and societies, the insurance industry is understandably an object of regulation and public policy. Furthermore, as the risk pooling afforded is possible only with investors’ willingness to put capital at risk, profits are necessary for its continued existence.

Can Sustainability be a Source of Competitive Advantage in the Insurance Industry?

Date: Dec 01, 2013
Type: Paper
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Insurance & Sustainable Business
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Matthew Shea and James Hutchin

Summary: We wish to determine if insurers can acquire a competitive advantage if they integrate insureds’ sustainability performance into their underwriting models. Such a finding has profound implications for the insurance industry and the greater social and economic activity it drives.

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Surface water connectivity dynamics of a large scale extreme flood

Date: Nov 15, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Journal of Hydrology
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Mark A. Trigg, Katerina Michaelides, Jeffrey C. Neal, Paul D. Bates

Field(s): Geostatistical connectivity; Floodplain dynamics; 2011 Bangkok; Thailand; MODIS

Summary: •Uses the MODIS surface water product observations of the 2011 Bangkok flood. •A data gap filling method is developed to better preserve the dynamics of the event. •We quantify surface water connectivity geostatistically to give new flood insights. •There is a clear structure to the connectivity of the event through time and space. •Changes and thresholds in the connectivity are linked to major flood mechanisms.

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Response of Tropical Cyclones to Idealized Climate Change Experiments in a Global High-Resolution Coupled General Circulation Model

Date: Oct 31, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Journal of Science
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): Bell, Ray, Jane Strachan, Pier Luigi Vidale, Kevin Hodges, Malcolm Roberts

Field(s): Hurricanes, Tropical cyclones, Climate change, Climate models, Coupled models

Summary: The authors present an assessment of how tropical cyclone activity might change owing to the influence of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, using the U.K. High-Resolution Global Environment Model (HiGEM) with N144 resolution (~90 km in the atmosphere and ~40 km in the ocean).

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As the Wind Blows? Understanding Hurricane Damages at the Local Level Through a Case Study Analysis

Date: Oct 25, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: American Meteorological Society
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): James Done and Jeff Czajkowski.

Summary: An understanding of the potential drivers of local scale hurricane losses is developed through a case study analysis. Two recent Category Three US landfalling hurricanes (Ivan in 2004 and Dennis in 2005) are analyzed that, although similar in terms of maximum wind speed at their proximate coastal landfall locations, caused vastly different loss amounts.

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Wharton Risk Management REVIEW

Date: Oct 22, 2013
Type: Scientific Paper
Journal: Wharton Risk Management REVIEW
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center

Summary: In this newsletter... Flood Resilience Research at Wharton Addressing Affordability in the National Flood Insurance Program Managing Climate Change through Insurance Tropical Cyclones — New Quantification Methods - by Jeff Czajkowski, Willis Research Network Fellow Using Eye-Tracking to Study Responses to Hurricane Maps South Florida Water, Sustainability, and Climate Project The Case for a Modified Government-Backed Terrorism Insurance Program What Affects Tenant Demand for Energy Efficient Buildings? Effective Corporate Leadership in Cat Risk Management Lessons from the Chilean Earthquake of 2010

On the relationship between the index of dispersion and Allan factor and their power for testing the Poisson assumption

Date: Oct 10, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi

Field(s): Index of dispersion Allan factor Power analysis Monte Carlo simulation Poisson process Point processes

Summary: Several statistical tests are available for testing the Poisson hypothesis and/or the equidispersion of a point process. The capability to discriminate between the Poissonian behaviour and more complex processes is fundamental in many areas of research including earthquake analysis, hydrology, ecology, biology, signal analysis and sociology.

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Importance of oceanic resolution and mean state on the extra-tropical response to El Niño in a matrix of coupled models

Date: Sep 30, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Climate Dynamics
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): Andrew Dawson, Adrian J. Matthews, David P. Stevens, Malcolm J. Roberts, Pier Luigi Vidale

Field(s): North Pacific Extra-tropical SST ENSO GCM Basic state

Summary: The extra-tropical response to El Niño in configurations of a coupled model with increased horizontal resolution in the oceanic component is shown to be more realistic than in configurations with a low resolution oceanic component. This general conclusion is independent of the atmospheric resolution.

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The role of horizontal resolution in simulating drivers of the global hydrological cycle

Date: Sep 30, 2013
Type: Paper
Journal: Climate Dynamics
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Tropical Cyclones

Author(s): Marie-Estelle Demory, Pier Luigi Vidale, Malcolm J. Roberts, Paul Berrisford, Jane Strachan, Reinhard Schiemann, Matthew S. Mizielinski

Field(s): Hydrological cycle Atmospheric moisture transport Precipitation Moisture recycling GCM Horizontal resolution

Summary: The role of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) horizontal resolution in representing the global energy budget and hydrological cycle is assessed, with the aim of improving the understanding of model uncertainties in simulating the hydrological cycle.

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An uncertain journey around the tails of multivariate hydrological distributions

Date: Sep 12, 2013
Type: Presentation
Journal: Water Resources Journal
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi

Field(s): multivariate frequency analysis;copulas;Monte Carlo simulation;multivariate design events;Joint confidence intervals;uncertainty

Summary: Moving from univariate to multivariate frequency analysis, this study extends the Klemeš' critique of the widespread belief that the increasingly refined mathematical structures of probability functions increase the accuracy and credibility of the extrapolated upper tails of the fitted distribution models.

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About WRN

As economic, social and environmental uncertainties increase, institutions and populations seek greater resilience to support sustainable growth. Science and insurance lay at the heart of understanding, managing and sharing these risks, building more secure futures at local and global scales.

The Willis Research Network (WRN) operates across the full spectrum of risk from natural catastrophe, to legal liability, financial and security issues linked across driving themes: Resilience, Security & Sustainable Growth; Managing Extremes; Insurance & Risk Management and Mastering the Modelled World.

All Members and activities are united by a common aim: improving resilience by integrating first class science into operational and financial decision-making across public and private institutions.

Latest News

Extending Terrorism Insurance Program Could Save Federal Government Money After Future Attacks
Apr 11, 2014 | read more ›

Senate Bill to Extend TRIA: Positive, but no Guarantee
Apr 11, 2014 | read more ›

Forecasting, Flood & Fortitude: Slides available
Mar 25, 2014 | read more ›

Seasonal Forecast Summary Update
Mar 24, 2014 | read more ›

RAND Study: TRIA Expiration Could “Affect U.S. National Resilience”
Mar 14, 2014 | read more ›

Newsletter

Fast Facts

  • The WRN was formed in September 2006 to support leading academic research into extreme events, with a specific focus on responding to the challenges faced by businesses, insurers and governments
  • The WRN's membership spans the globe, counting more than 50 world-class universities, scientific research organisations and public policy institutions
  • Collectively, our members have published more than 100 papers in leading scientific journals
  • Nearly all of the WRN's research is freely available to the public and can be downloaded on our website

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