The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced the creation of an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) focused on modelling catastrophic impacts and risk assessment of climate change to “help better support the needs of the insurance sector.”
NOAA Chief Scientist, Sarah Kapnick, PhD, commented, “Traditionally, catastrophe modelling looks at past events while climate modelling looks to the future.
“We need a new and improved way of combining these approaches in order to address the challenges that are being accelerated by our rapidly changing climate.”
Kapnick added, “Combining climate and catastrophe models with the goal of producing better decision-making tools is a game changer for the insurance, reinsurance and mortgage industries.
“Additionally, we need to not only develop the science and tools in this space, but also the workforce capacity to put knowledge into action.”
The NOAA states that it shares a mission with the NSF to understand and predict changes in climate, weather and the ocean and coasts, including the role of human behaviour in affecting and responding to these changes.
NSF Assistant Director for Geosciences, Alexandra Isern, said, “This partnership between NSF and NOAA focuses on industry and academia jointly solving some of the most difficult problems we face.
“Predicting the risks and damages of climate-related perils such as wildfires, floods, tornados and hurricanes in a world of radically changing and intensifying catastrophic weather is essential.
“Using the NSF industry-university cooperative research center model, this powerful vehicle will channel basic and use-inspired research for the benefit of the U.S. economy.”
The new research center will benefit from interactions with and the experiences of the current NOAA and NSF climate science centers, including NOAA labs and cooperative Institutes.
Specific program objectives include understanding and predicting changes in climate, weather and the ocean and coasts, including the role of human behaviour in affecting and responding to these changes; communicating knowledge and information; and developing a skilled domestic workforce capable of addressing science and technology challenges in these areas.