Risk Assessment and Decision Support System for Environmental Impacts related to Climate Change

Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Risk Assessment and Decision Support System for Environmental Impacts related to Climate Change
Course code
PHD026 (AF:364620 AR:193161)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Corso di Dottorato (D.M.45)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The course seeks to impart a broad understanding of the methods, tools and skills required for conducting analyses of environmental impacts, vulnerability and risks posed by climate change in the context of global environmental changes. The course emphasizes the integration of disciplinary knowledge and covers a wide range of subjects, including scenario development, environmental risk analysis, impact and vulnerability assessment, decision support systems. Attention is paid to both, theoretical and practical aspects of vulnerability and risk assessment, underpinned by examples from recent international research.

Following an introduction to the key concepts and the state of the art in environmental impact, risk and vulnerability assessment methodologies, the course will provide an overview of the main assessment and management tools applied to relevant case studies.
Then, we will go on to the analysis of Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for the assessment and management of environmental impacts of climate change. An introduction to the concept of DSS and their applications will provide a preliminary insight into the theme. Review of some existing Decision Support System to be compared and evaluated will add technical and analytical aspects. Application to a case study will be instrumental in order to explore flexibility of DSSs and the use of existing tools.
Know the basic linguistic terminology and understand the texts that use it.
Knowing how to use linguistic terminology in all the application and communication processes of the subjects acquired.
Knowing how to formulate and argue simple hypotheses, also developing a critical approach to the evaluation of alternative hypotheses.
Knowing how to interact with peers and the tutor, in a critical and respectful way.
Being able to consult critically the reference texts and the bibliography contained in them.
Know how to use dedicated tools and software.
Basic knowledge of some computer tools and programs, including some notions of GIS (Geographical Information System)
no. 1 Regulatory frameworks for environmental risk assessment and management related to climate change.
Parry M, Carter T, 1998. Climate Impact and Adaptation assessment: the IPCC Method. Earthscan, 192 pp.
Willows, R.I., and R.K. Connell (eds.) 2003. Climate adaptation: Risk, uncertainty and decision-making. UKCIP Technical Report. UKCIP. Oxford, UK.

no. 2 Approaches and methodologies for environmental risk assessment and management related to climate change.
UNFCCC, 2004. Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. 151pp.
Australian Government, 2005. Climate change risk and vulnerability. Promoting an efficient adaptation response in Australia. Report to the Australian Greenhouse Office, Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Landis WG, Wiegers JK, 2007. Ten years of the relative risk model and regional scale ecological risk assessment Human Ecological Risk Assessment, 13 (1): 25-38 .
Romieu E.,Welle T., Schneiderbauer S., Pelling M., Vinchon C., 2010. Vulnerability assessment within climate change and natural hazard contexts: revealing gaps and synergies through coastal applications. Sustainability Science:159–170.

no. 3 Decision Support Systems for evaluation and management of environmental impacts of climate change.
Shim, J P, Warkentin, M., Courtney, J F, Power D J, Shards, R, Carlsson C. 2002. Past, present and future of decision support technology, Decision Support Systems: 33, 111-126.
Some relevant websites: DIVA DSS, http://www.dinas-coast.net/ ; WADBOS DSS, http://www.riks.nl/Projects/WadBOS ; LADSS DSS, http://www.macaulay.ac.uk/LADSS/ ; CLIME DSS, http://geoinformatics.tkk.fi/twiki/bin/view/Main/CLIMEDSS ; http://www.climsystems.com/simclim/ .

no. 4 Assessment and management tools applied to case studies.
Different case studies will be presented to illustrate specific assessment tools and management options for climate change impacts.
Lecture based on material provided by the instructor.

no. 5 Overview of international on-going research projects.
Lecture based on material provided by the instructor.
Some relevant websites: CLIM-RUN project, www.climrun.eu; CIRCE project, www.circeproject.eu; KULTURISK project, www.kulturisk.eu; CIRCLE-MED projects, www.circle-med.net

no. 6 Case study application of a DSS (practical application).
The DSS will be chosen during the course.
Students will be asked to summarise and evaluate the impacts of climate change and possible measures for adaptation in a particular sector and/or region. The exercise will require a internet review to gather and critically evaluate available scientific knowledge for the assessment of climate change impacts.
Material for the practical application delivered by the lecturer, use of PCs.

no. 7 Discussion of case study application and final remarks.
See the program of lectures for details.
The written exam consists of a summary report of the practical applications compiled by the participants and evaluated (60 % of final score).
Evaluation of ppt presentations concerning issues discussed during the lectures and provided by students during the course will also be considered (40 % of final score)
Working groups and presentations concerning issues discussed during the lectures, provided by students.
The course may be enriched by the participation of some external lecturers. Attendance is required. Daily preparation is also required. The assignments are set out above in the course syllabus. Academic honesty is an important part of university training. While students may discuss assignments with their classmates and others, they are expected to make sure any written material they submit is their own work. Students are expected to know how to cite the work of others and present a bibliography of the research texts that were used.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Climate change and energy" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.