What's New in Knowledge | June 2024

Welcome to the June edition of What's New in Knowledge. Led by AIDR Manager Knowledge Development John Richardson, this monthly blog series collates key research, reports and public interest journalism from across the disaster resilience space.

The 2024 Global Displacement Report indicates that 46.9 million people were on the move across 151 countries. 148 countries reported displacements due to disaster, including Canada and New Zealand, and Australia reported 4,700 people displaced by disaster. While talking about displacement and human mobility, this research puts a cost on the issues.

Great news, according to this Our World In Data Report, the numbers of deaths globally due to disasters has fallen over the decades, despite increasing population and climate change fuelled disasters. However, the numbers of people affected have increased. This disturbing research also indicates that women are more likely to die in climate related disasters than men.

In understanding consequences and recovery, beach erosion in southern California will make cost of living five times more expensive. Disaster costs in Australia continues to rise. In Lismore, a combination of MDMA and creative recovery activities will be trialled to treat disaster related PTSD.

In thinking about systemic risk, food security and climate change impacts in the UK is the focus of this article. This paper investigates achieving transformative change through systemic disaster risk analysis.

In disaster risk reduction, the latest Disasters Avoided newsletter examines the things that we did so that hazards don’t turn into disasters. The UN Environment Program has released a report on nature based solutions for climate resilient communities in Latin America.

While on nature-based solutions, this UNDRR and G20 report highlights good practice. This paper investigates the vulnerability of formal and informal households in South Africa. The new Disastrous podcast talks with Dr David Lallemant about risk and disasters averted. This is a cool toolkit for using creativity in climate adaptation. The EU focuses on a structured way of approaching disaster risk financing.

Focusing on First Nations knowledge, Kevin Blanchard details the role of culture and identity in disaster risk reduction.

For children and young people, this article looks at overheating in English schools with a 2°C warming. The always excellent Sarah Eagland has led this book chapter on incorporating children's voices in recovery programming.

As we recognise inequity as a key driver or disaster risk, this paper examines the disproportionate effect of climate change on LGTBTQI+ people in the United States. This is a chapter on a new taxonomic approach to measuring vulnerability to disaster impacts. This background paper was developed to inform the Climate Investment Funds (CIF’s) approach to disability inclusion. This is a flagship paper from VCOSS on the need for strong community organisations to face climate risk. Tricia Wachtendorf and James Kendra give us this piece on the unequal impacts of tornadoes in the US.

Considering animals in disasters, Steve Glassey highlights the importance of including planning for animals in disasters towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. International Day of Biological Diversity highlighted the increasing challenge of co-extinctions, where one extinction leads to another.

Looking at weather matters and climate change, this report from Resilience Evaluation Analysis Learning summarises the current state of knowledge on adaptation measurement and provides practical guidance on what adaptation measurement might look like in different sectors. This paper looks at the importance of social networks in influencing perceptions of climate risk.

The Atlantic Ocean is warming up, and this article explains why and what it means. Houston’s challenges with floods are useful to understand for cities adapting to climate change. A new paper examines the projected fall by 19% of global income by 2049 due to climate change. Intense heatwaves made April 2024 the hottest on record. These World Bank reports provide a valuation and costing framework for climate change adaptation, and this one makes the case for pre-positioned finance.

The ARC Centre for Excellence on Climate Extremes has found that the Tongan Volcano eruption in 2022 has led to an ozone layer hole and is likely to affect our weather for the next decade. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology combine to help personalise climate risk for farmers. The macroeconomic impacts of climate change are likely to be significant, with a 1C increase in temperature leading to a 12% decrease in GDP, globally.

There has been quite a focus on different hazards, this paper from Alan March and Constanza González-Mathiesen calls for a Charter for Fire Adapted settlements, setting out broad principles for living at the interface of vegetation and settlement. This paper is a multiscale neighbourhood index to quantify bushfire likelihood. The Zurich Flood Alliance present their year 6 progress report.

On flooding, the Germans have been working on impact based flood forecasting, attempting to develop precise forecasts for individual buildings. As someone living in an area that experiences hyper local flooding, this article is a welcome look at how to alert people to the risks.

This article flags a European peer review into Italy's bushfire risk management frameworks. With the commencement of the fire season in Canada, there are several articles on reach and impact of bushfire smoke. The geomorphologist and health parts of my brain were interested in this research from Stanford that examines the chemical changes in soil caused by bushfires that affect ecosystem recovery and risks to human health. This paper from Climate Central contributes to the knowledge that fire seasons are getting longer and more intense.

Against the background of the appearance of the Aurora and NEMA’s Exercise Aurora, this article from the WMO demonstrates the need for space weather forecasts. While this article helps us understand the impact of solar flares on technology. The health risks associated with the PNG landslides are detailed in this piece. A useful reminder in this article on how hurricanes can track inland and still cause damage.

Focusing on extreme heat, this sobering research from WA Health suggests that heat related deaths in Perth could increase 60% by 2050. This article looks at what is happening in California. Heat is going to affect crops, this outlines what can be done.

Research examines the compounding nature of COVID19 and extreme temperatures. Up to an additional 246 million older adults around the world are projected to be exposed to dangerous acute heat by the year 2050, compared to current levels - with those living in Asia and Africa experiencing the most severe effects. The May Global Heal Health Information Network news has a round up on new heat related resources.

In health, this Conversation article outlines the need to look beyond health data when planning for pandemics. The Europe Report of the Lancet Countdown has been released, noting increases in heat related deaths, and the risky hours for medium and strenuous activities. This report looks at the impact of heat on law enforcement, finding that there are likely to be less arrests on extreme heat days, and these arrests are more likely to be dismissed in court.

Climate change is linked to worsening brain diseases with conditions that can intensify as temperature and humidity rises. This includes stroke, migraines, meningitis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s. The World Health Organization flags the need for urgent research into climate change’s impact on tropical diseases and malaria.

This is a useful explainer of the health risks/impacts of flooding. There is a new variant of COVID, Flirt, prompting a bunch of daggy jokes. Here is another article looking into ecological grief. The IFRC Psychosocial Reference Centre has released a report on the mental health aspects of the climate crisis.

Looking at governance, leadership and capacity building, UNDRR released a position statement on their Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism summit. The legendary Naim Kapucu, along with experienced hands Russell Dippy, Miriam Lumb, and Andrew Parkin, have authored a paper of crisis coordination in complex systems in the Australian context. This news article outlines the new Australian Government Standing Offer Panel for disaster related supplies. The ABC’s Future Tense examines the best model for future disasters: centralised response, or community based?

Looking at knowledge management, this article looks at how the media has shaped the broader societal narrative over the last 30 years. This is helpful for us to understand as we situate disaster risk and consequence in this broader context. The National  Adaptation Plan Global Network have released a toolkit to provide practical guidance for the development and continuous improvement of Monitoring Evaluation and Learning systems for adaptation planning. The European Union’s Civil Protection Knowledge Network has released their newsletter.

Examining the frontiers in technology, this article looks at the potential for geoengineering to help adapt to extreme heat. The potential for using AI and machine learning is explored in India, but this piece highlights the challenges of having a lack of credible data. This article from the Stockholm Resilience Institute looks at artificial intelligence, systemic risk, and sustainability.

Back in time

In May 1996, severe storms affected southeast Queensland and northern NSW with a blocking high helping deliver up to 1000mm rainfall in some places.

Did you know?

What causes landslides?

Sources: Darryl Glover, Isabel Cornes, Lexi Barrington, Sandy Whight, Prevention Web

Compiled by Lexi Barrington and John Richardson

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