November 16 – The science of modelling extreme flood events

    16 November 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    Greenbank Pub, Easton, Bristol
    Bob Foster
    What are science cafes? 
    They are informal gatherings in which an expert discusses an interesting science topic – usually one that they’re working on. The goal is to stimulate a lively discussion.

    Our speaker is:
    Iskra Mejía-Estrada, Researcher at the School of Geographical Sciences.

    science cafe
    The extreme flood event in Mexico in 2013 during which two hurricanes (one on each coast almost simultaneously) caused extensive damage to the country was the first inundation event I could study in detail. It highlighted the importance of studying and improving current flood modelling frameworks to keep up with the increasing risk under climate change conditions. I have since been working with numerical models and in science communication events to cover the gap between technical work and real-life applications.

    This evening’s topic is:

    We are hearing more and more about extreme flooding events in the UK and around the world. These events can have considerable societal and economic consequences.

    Early warning systems are necessary in order to be prepared. But in order to predict these events, scientists need to study historical events to identify patterns of natural processes that lead to a flood. To do this, scientists attempt to simulate, or model, how a place was flooded.

    But what exactly does flood modelling consist of? What is on the screen of a computer of a flood modeller? What data do scientists use and how do they process it to tell whether a place is safe? This and other questions will be answered to bridge the work done in research institutes to its application to flood risk reduction policies.




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