Publications, deliverables and reports





Climate Risk Assessment under Uncertainty: An Application to Main European Coastal Cities

Luis M. Abadie, Elisa Sainz de Murieta* and Ibon Galarraga
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain

This paper analyses the risk of extreme coastal events in major European coastal cities using a stochastic diffusion model that is calibrated with the worst case emission scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), i.e., the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. The model incorporates uncertainty in the sea-level rise (SLR) distribution. Expected mean annual losses are calculated for 19 European coastal cities, together with two risk measures: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES). Both measures are well-known in financial economics and enable us to calculate the impact of the worst SLR paths under uncertainty. The results presented here can serve as valuable inputs for cities in deciding how much risk they are willing to accept, and consequently how much adaptation they need depending on the risk aversion of their decision-makers.

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Understanding risks in the light of uncertainty: low-probability, high-impact coastal events in cities

Luis Maria Abadie, Ibon Galarraga1 and Elisa Sainz de Murieta

Published 17 January 2017

© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd

A quantification of present and future mean annual losses due to extreme coastal events can be crucial for adequate decision making on adaptation to climate change in coastal areas around the globe. However, this approach is limited when uncertainty needs to be accounted for. In this paper, we assess coastal flood risk from sea-level rise and extreme events in 120 major cities around the world using an alternative stochastic approach that accounts for uncertainty. Probability distributions of future relative (local) sea-level rise have been used for each city, under three IPPC emission scenarios, RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5. The approach allows a continuous stochastic function to be built to assess yearly evolution of damages from 2030 to 2100. Additionally, we present two risk measures that put low-probability, high-damage events in the spotlight: the Value at Risk (VaR) and the Expected Shortfall (ES), which enable the damages to be estimated when a certain risk level is exceeded. This level of acceptable risk can be defined involving different stakeholders to guide progressive adaptation strategies. The method presented here is new in the field of economics of adaptation and offers a much broader picture of the challenges related to dealing with climate impacts. Furthermore, it can be applied to assess not only adaptation needs but also to put adaptation into a timeframe in each city.

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Baseline assessment for Greater Manchester

Strengthening capacity to adapt and build resilience to climate change is a key aspect of moving the agenda forwards in Greater Manchester (GM). Climate change related research and data increases adaptive capacity in several ways, including by raising awareness of related issues and providing information to assess climate risk. This can in turn help to generate political commitment, and potentially support the allocation of resources. Allied to this, research and data can help to inform and target adaptation and resilience decisions and actions to generate more effective outcomes.

This baseline assessment has been undertaken for several reasons, not least because an overview of existing research and data relevant to adaptation and resilience in GM is currently unavailable. The aims are:

  • To identify resources to inform the GM RESIN case study, particularly the design and implementation of a method to assess weather and climate risks to GMs critical infrastructure.
  • To identify gaps in current research and data that the RESIN project (or other future studies) could help to address.

In addition to supporting the RESIN project, this assessment aims to inform ongoing and future activities in GM that are linked, directly or indirectly, to climate change adaptation and resilience.

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Coping with complexity, handling uncertainty  

In their endeavours to increase the climate resilience of cities, urban administrators, planners and decision makers have to deal with considerable uncertainty and complexity. This report aims to break down complexity and uncertainty into understandable definitions and aspects. By doing this, it accommodates the process of dealing with uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project and linking useful methods and instruments to tackle complexity and uncertainty related challenges that arise in the context of adapting and building urban resilience to climate change. This report should be seen as the starting point of addressing the issues of uncertainty and complexity in the RESIN project. It provides city planners in general with an overview of methods and tools they can use to handle complexity and uncertainty, such as scenario planning, adaptive pathway design and adaptive governance. Methods and instruments to address uncertainty and complexity will be part of discussion and application within the RESIN cities. During the course of the RESIN project the user experiences and elaborated user guidelines will be included in the RESIN e-Guide..

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This report elaborates on the development approach and expected outline, use and form of the framework in which the decision support tooling will be presented to the end-users. To this end, a framework is developed in which all supportive elements to the end users can be placed, and presented. Eventually, in this framework, the supportive tools, methods and other structures will be referenced; this includes the results from other RESIN WP’s and external sources. Finally, an outline of a work plan is presented to develop and operationalise the framework, in close collaboration with the RESIN city partners.

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This report, which gathers the cities assessment reports of all four RESIN cities of Bilbao, Bratislava, Greater Manchester and Paris, will allow the RESIN cities and project partners to gain an overview over which adaptation and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) strategies, plans and measures are already in place or planned. 

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This report describes the general approach of the RESIN project to support the vulnerability analysis (VA) of urban areas and their critical infrastructures regarding the impacts of climate change (CC). IVAVIA is about how to structure and conduct the process of vulnerability assessment. That is, IVAVIA is a set of methods or practices for conducting the VA process. 

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The RCF underpins RESIN by establishing a context for the project and clarifying the key concepts, and the relationships between them, that the project is developed around.

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This document outlines the definitions for various terms that will be employed throughout the RESIN project. The definitions stem directly from RESIN’s State of the Art reports (Deliverable 1.1) with some minor modifications to harmonize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definitions outlined in their most recent assessment report (AR5) (IPCC 2014). This deliverable is strongly linked to the RESIN Conceptual Framework (Deliverable 1.3). 

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These reports aim to review the state of knowledge and scientific discourse in topics relevant for the RESIN programme of work.

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Methods and Tools in support of Stakeholder Analysis and Involvement

This report presents an overview of methods and tools in support of a stakeholder analysis for the various steps and stages of preparing for and developing and implementing climate adaptation strategies.

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Adaptation options database model

This study aims to develop a library or catalogue of standardised adaptation options.

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This document provides an overview of the RESIN website and lays out the logic behind the design and the features that can be supported following future updates.

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The RESIN Tools

The RESIN project’s ideal partnership of pioneering research experts and active city representatives uniquely position the project as creators of a complete adaptation action package. Comprehensive evidence, interactive training and intuitive tools support, mobilise and streamline every stage of the process, from concept to reality. 

The RESIN tools will be the first of their kind, going beyond local cases and consolidating accumulated experience and knowledge to generate reliable, evidence-supported toolkits that will be both scientifically novel and user-friendly.



The e-Guide is developed to support the development and execution process of an urban climate adaptation plan, but not to proscribe it; rather than laying down rules and limitations, it aims to offer information and helpful insight to aid the cities in developing their own, unique plan. It aims to be a practical source of information and to this end the information in this e-guide was developed not only for, but also in large parts by urban decision makers. It therefore also contains lessons learned and practical examples encountered in the actual process of using this guidance for the creation of actual climate adaptation plans.

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Impact and vulnerability analysis (IVAVIA)

A tool suite is under development to support and guide the process of impact and vulnerability analysis for critical infrastructures and built-up areas (IVAVIA). Accompanying software use cases demonstrate how users would apply the tool to the various phases of IVAVIA. 

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Decision support system (DSS)

These tools will support decision-making in the following areas: 

  • stakeholder analysis
  • risk and vulnerability assessment
  • prioritising between adaptation options and risk reduction strategies
  • monitoring and evaluation. 

As with the IVAVIA tools, use case scenarios will be provided. 

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Library of adaptation options

A searchable archive will host the above tools as well as documentation on adaptation measures previously implemented in different cities. 
The library will have a collaborative element where partners and other users can log in to upload or edit content. A platform will be created that will serve as an adaptation hotspot for cities beyond the project duration. 

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The RESIN project goes beyond localised adaptation approaches and moves towards formal standardisation of climate adaptation strategies. The Standardisation Institute of the Netherlands (NEN) will work with the project partners in streamlining the project's outputs into European standardised approaches.


City Typology

A city typology will identify some of cities’ key aspects as they relate to adaptation. Existing adaptation measures will also be surveyed, evaluated and documented in the project's online library.