Latest Publications

Beyond Katrina: Lessons In Creating Resilient Communities
Aug 26, 2015 | read more ›

Drivers of the 2013/14 winter floods in the UK
Jun 01, 2015 | read more ›

Financial Institutions 2025 Risk Index
Jun 01, 2015 | 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.

Beyond Katrina: Lessons In Creating Resilient Communities

Date: Aug 26, 2015
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s):

Summary: Zurich North America and the Wharton Risk Center’s whitepaper Beyond Katrina: Lessons In Creating Resilient Communities, outlines new flood resilience strategies and identifies the need to devote more resources to preventive measures rather than post-event disaster relief, and overcoming current infrastructure vulnerabilities

Usefulness and limitations of global flood risk models

Date: Aug 05, 2015
Type: Paper
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Ward, P.J., Jongman, B., Salamon, P., Simpson, A., Bates, P., De Groeve, T., Muis, S., Coughlan de Perez, E., Rudari, R., Trigg, M.A., Winsemius, H.C.

Summary: Global Flood risk models were developed to identify risk hotspots in a world with increasing flood occurrence. This commentary assesses the ability and limitations of the current models and suggests what is needed moving forward

Financial Institutions 2025 Risk Index

Date: Jun 30, 2015
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Financial Stability & Insurance Regulation

Author(s): Willis

Summary: Regulation, IT costs and macro-economic factors rank highest in Willis’s Financial Institutions Risk Index. The survey also revealed that only 40% of C-suite executives believe the financial sector’s ability to manage risk has materially changed for the better over the past twelve months

Drivers of the 2013/14 winter floods in the UK

Date: Jun 01, 2015
Type: Industry Briefing
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

Author(s): Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, David B. Stephenson, Andreas Sterl, Robert Vautard, Pascal Yiou, Sybren S. Drijfhout, Hans von Storch & Huug van den Dool

Summary: In their section on ‘Weather and climate change drivers’, Huntingford et al.1 propose various driving mechanisms for the record precipitation that caused flooding in southern England in the winter of 2013/14. This comment from Oldenborgh et al. responds with evidence derived from a statistical analysis of past data.

Resilience Issue 6: Data Vision

Date: May 11, 2015
Type: Presentation
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk

Author(s): Willis

Field(s): WRN Research

Summary: In the latest issue of Resilience eMagazine, Willis experts keep you fully briefed about political hotspots, financial megatrends, cyber vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure, forecasting catastrophes, and more.

CEDIM Forensic Disaster Analysis Group on Nepal Earthquake

Date: Apr 28, 2015
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Earthquake
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): James Daniell (KIT/Earthquake Report) et al

Summary: The 25th April 2015 Magnitude 7.8 Nepal is one of the largest earthquakes observed in Nepal for almost 80 years

Natural Resources Market Review April 2015

Date: Apr 01, 2015
Type: Industry Briefing
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Man-made & Political Risks
Hub: Socio-Economic Impact & Industry Risks

Author(s): Willis

Summary: Which Energy insurers will win out in today’s soft market? How can buyers benefit? Willis Natural Resources Review Editor Robin Somerville takes an in-depth look at today’s Energy market dynamics

Big Data Revolution: What farmers, doctors and insurance agents teach us about discovering big data patterns

Date: Mar 04, 2015
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Science & Innovation

Author(s): Rob Thomas, Patrick McSharry

Summary: Exploit the power and potential of Big Data to revolutionize business outcomes

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Willis Resilience Issue 05

Date: Jan 14, 2015
Type: Paper
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Hub: Insurance & Sustainable Business

Author(s): Willis

Summary: Solutions for a risky world

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Post Magazine - A bright new age for forecasting

Date: Jan 07, 2015
Type: Article
Journal: Post Magazine
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods

Author(s):

Summary: Professor Pier Luigi Vidale, Senior Academic, Willis Research Network talks about the possibilities of the new Met Office supercomputer capacities for the insurance industry

Extratropical Cyclones Lothar and Martin

Date: Jan 02, 2015
Type: Paper
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: European Windstorm
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Willis

Summary: Between the 26th and the 29th December of 1999, two significant storms, Lothar and Martin, affected large parts of Europe in rapid succession causing about €8.3 billion of insured losses. The windstorms were the most severe since 1990 and arrived after windstorm Anatol had already hit hard Denmark three weeks earlier.

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Seasonal Climate Impact Prediction

Date: Nov 10, 2014
Type: Article
Journal: Willis Wire
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Natural Disasters & Climate Adapation

Author(s): James Done

Summary: We couldn’t possibly have anticipated Hurricane Sandy in advance of the season, or could we? Seasonal climate forecasts have been produced routinely for many years yet their uptake by the industry has been slow. Given that insurers and reinsurers live and die by high-impact weather and climate events why is this?

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Next Generation Research and Innovation Networks

Date: Oct 20, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: The LEGO Foundation
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Technologies and Platforms

Author(s): The LEGO Foundation

Summary: REPORT: To inspire a network on learning through play This case report inspires us to think about a new space for supporting a community of engaged actors who are passionate about children, learning and creativity, and who believe that educational systems are pivotal to making real and sustainable changes

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Data-Driven Business Models: Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data

Date: Sep 30, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Oxford Internet Institute
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
Hub: Technologies and Platforms

Author(s): Monica Bulger, Greg Taylor, Ralph Schroeder

Summary: This report draws on interviews with 28 business leaders and stakeholder representatives from the UK and US in order to answer the following questions: • How is (big) data being used; what is a ‘big data business model’? • What are the main obstacles to exploitation of big data in the economy? • What can and should be done to mitigate these challenges and ensure that the opportunities provided by big data are realised?

Upper tail dependence in rainfall extremes: would we know it if we saw it?

Date: Sep 11, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood

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

Field(s): Upper tail dependence Extreme events Binary correlation Binary entropy Rainfall Peak over threshold analysis Collective spatial risk

Summary: The simultaneous occurrence of extreme events, such as simultaneous storms and floods at different locations, has a serious impact on risk assessment and mitigation strategies. The joint occurrence of extreme events can be measured by the so-called upper tail dependence (UTD) coefficient λ U.

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Dismissing return periods!

Date: Sep 07, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi

Field(s): Return period Nonstationary frequency analysis Multivariate frequency analysis Copulas Risk of failure Design values Design life

Summary: The concept of return period in stationary univariate frequency analysis is prone to misconceptions and misuses that are well known but still widespread...

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Groundwater fluxes in a shallow seasonal wetland pond: The effect of bathymetric uncertainty on predicted water and solute balances

Date: Jul 22, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Journal of Hydrology
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Mark A. Trigg, Peter G. Cook, Philip Brunner

Summary: The successful management of groundwater dependent shallow seasonal wetlands requires a sound understanding of groundwater fluxes. However, such fluxes are hard to quantify. Water volume and solute mass balance models can be used in order to derive an estimate of groundwater fluxes within such systems. This approach is particularly attractive, as it can be undertaken using measurable environmental variables, such as; rainfall, evaporation, pond level and salinity. Groundwater fluxes estimated from such an approach are subject to uncertainty in the measured variables as well as in the process representation and in parameters within the model. However, the shallow nature of seasonal wetland ponds means water volume and surface area can change rapidly and non-linearly with depth, requiring an accurate representation of the wetland pond bathymetry. Unfortunately, detailed bathymetry is rarely available and simplifying assumptions regarding the bathymetry have to be made. However, the implications of these assumptions are typically not quantified.

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Forecast cooling of the Atlantic subpolar gyre and associated impacts

Date: Jul 09, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Earth Observation & Remote Sensing

Author(s): Hermanson et al.

Field(s): Climate dynamics, Impacts of global change

Summary: Decadal variability in the North Atlantic and its subpolar gyre (SPG) has been shown to be predictable in climate models initialized with the concurrent ocean state. Numerous impacts over ocean and land have also been identified.

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Integrating Natural Disaster Risks & Resilience into the Financial System

Date: Jun 24, 2014
Type: Article
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): Rowan Douglas

Field(s): Willis Research Network

Summary: Integrating disaster risk and resilience into the financial system provides the structural and proportionate means of saving millions of lives and livelihoods in the coming decades and protecting US$ billions in homes, assets and property in a cost effective and rational way when weighed against competing priorities.

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The impact of uncertain precipitation data on insurance loss estimates using a flood catastrophe model

Date: Jun 23, 2014
Type: Paper
Journal: NatureHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Ext. Link: Click Here ›
Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
Hub: Flood
Attachment: Download File ›

Author(s): C. C. Sampson, T. J. Fewtrell, F. O’Loughlin, F. Pappenberger, P. B. Bates, J. E. Freer, and H. L. Cloke

Field(s): Climate Change, Atmospheric science

Summary: Catastrophe risk models used by the insurance industry are likely subject to significant uncertainty, but due to their proprietary nature and strict licensing conditions they are not available for experimentation. In addition, even if such experiments were conducted, these would not be repeatable by other researchers because commercial confidentiality issues prevent the details of proprietary catastrophe model structures from being described in public domain documents. However, such experimentation is urgently required to improve decision making in both insurance and reinsurance markets.

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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

Interactive Map of Hurricane Katrina
Aug 28, 2015 | read more ›

Willis Group and Towers Watson Announce Merger
Jun 30, 2015 | read more ›

Interactive Map of the Nepal Earthquake
Jun 15, 2015 | read more ›

30 Years Later: the Ontario Tornadoes of May 1985
Jun 05, 2015 | read more ›

Data analytics is helping us to forecast extreme weather
Jun 01, 2015 | 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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