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Use cases for climate risk modeling

In conjunction with deep expertise, climate risk modeling uses cutting-edge technology to help agencies and organizations use their resources more efficiently, reduce costs, accelerate mission accomplishments, make better decisions in the face of uncertainty, and create actionable plans to meet resiliency goals.

Climate risk modeling is a key component of the following client studies:

1. Future heat waves and heat-related deaths projected to increase in the Pacific Northwest

For many in the Pacific Northwest, the extreme temperatures at the end of June 2021 were miserable at best and deadly at worst. In this analysis, we discuss what made this heatwave so deadly and what we can expect in the future.

2. Understanding the impact of climate change on mental health

Warming temperatures play a role in negatively impacting mental health with an increased risk of suicide. Climate risk analytics create projections that help tackle both crises, including the development of effective mental health interventions.

3. Supporting Con Edison’s climate resilience and adaptation plan

Utilities increasingly face high-impact challenges from spikes in energy consumption and service disruptions. By changing how it plans and designs its energy delivery systems to be more resilient against intensifying climate events, Con Edison takes a forward-looking approach to planning and response.

4. National Climate Assessment report on the impacts of climate change

The United States is experiencing the impacts of climate change in every region, from fires in the west to hurricane-related flooding in the east. ICF supports the U.S. Global Change Research Program in producing the 5th National Climate Assessment report identifying climate risks to humans and natural systems in the United States, now and in the future.

How to achieve climate risk maturity

No two organizations experience the same maturity path. The people and culture of an organization determine its digital transformation journey. Our climate experts evaluate people, organizations, and technologies to help enterprises deliver on their promises to users through digital transformation.

Best practices for achieving risk maturity

1. Tap into data-backed climate analysis.

Uncertainty shouldn’t be a barrier to action. Serious climate action begins with data and methods—brought to life through analytical rigor, state-of-the-science approaches, and technical integrity. Climate experts must execute hundreds of action planning projects and manage flagship resilience plans for federal, state, and local agencies, utilities, and private companies. Implementing the National Climate Assessment, it’s imperative to bring a data-backed approach to climate impact assessment and risk analysis, mitigation technologies, adaptation analysis, and decarbonization’s economic, equity, and health benefits.

2. Collaborate with integrated teams of experts.

Technical training and assistance (TTA) are, above all else, a partnership. Rely on robust industry knowledge to create targeted assessments and solutions, prepare and execute climate action plans, and promote sustainable urban development at the sub-national level with regions, provinces, and cities. A holistic approach to understanding climate risks and actions—combined with scientific expertise—refines future climate hazards into realistic vulnerability risks and assessments, helping to cultivate a realistic path to maturity.

3. Secure stakeholder buy-in throughout the process.

Raising awareness through stakeholder outreach is essential to achieving climate goals Any successful climate action plan, however large or localized, requires continuous outreach and engagement throughout the planning process. Outreach can include everything from workshops to information awareness campaigns.


How accurate is climate risk modeling?

Climate risk modeling is reliable and accurate. Constantly evolving with the latest science and technology, modeling incorporates the millions of human and computer-assisted weather observation networks around the world recording data constantly—variable and fluctuating data from the air, land, and ocean, such as temperatures, wind patterns, and ocean currents. The more data points fed into a model, including comparative historical data, the more accurate its output. While there is always some level of uncertainty with predictions and forecasts, climate models of the 21st century are based on well-founded physical principles of physics and earth system processes.

What else can climate models measure?

Climate models simulate and visualize changes on Earth over time. Models allow us to test hypotheses and draw conclusions on past and future climate systems, from natural to human influences that impact our atmosphere, weather, and climate events. A climate risk model’s predictions and results can help alleviate the harmful effects of climate change—like severe storms and droughts, extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—that directly harm people and animals and destroy the places we live. Climate risk models can also help us prioritize environmental issues based on scientific evidence.

How actionable should a climate model analysis be?

Climate models should provide data with the intent of providing actionable analysis. By contextualizing reliable data, climate risk models provide information that serves as the basis for functioning action items. With this data, organizations can act at the juncture of climate modeling information and end-user actions. The translation of climate information into real-life action requires the credibility and reliability of the data, as well as its ability to convey information in a clear, salient manner.
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