2016 Vol. 7, No. 3

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Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Alternate Food to Address Agricultural Catastrophes Globally
David C. Denkenberger, Joshua M. Pearce
2016, 7(3): 205-215. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0097-2
The literature suggests there is about a 1 % risk per year of a 10 % global agricultural shortfall due to catastrophes such as a large volcanic eruption, a medium asteroid or comet impact, regional nuclear war, abrupt climate change, and extreme weather causing multiple breadbasket failures. This shortfall has an expected mortality of about 500 million people. To prevent such mass starvation, alternate foods can be deployed that utilize stored biomass. This study developed a model with literature values for variables and, where no values existed, used large error bounds to recognize uncertainty. Then Monte Carlo analysis was performed on three interventions: planning, research, and development. The results show that even the upper bound of USD 400 per life saved by these interventions is far lower than what is typically paid to save a life in a less-developed country. Furthermore, every day of delay on the implementation of these interventions costs 100–40,000 expected lives (number of lives saved multiplied by the probability that alternate foods would be required). These interventions plus training would save 1–300 million expected lives. In general, these solutions would reduce the possibility of civilization collapse, could assist in providing food outside of catastrophic situations, and would result in billions of dollars per year of return.
World Regionalization of Climate Change (1961–2010)
Peijun Shi, Shao Sun, Daoyi Gong, Tao Zhou
2016, 7(3): 216-226. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0094-5
Traditional climate classification or regionalization characterizes the mean state of climate condition, which cannot meet the demand of addressing climate change currently. We have developed a climate change classification method, as well as the fundamental principles, an indicator system, and mapping techniques of climate change regionalization. This study used annual mean temperature and total precipitation as climatic indices, and linear trend and variation change as change indices to characterize climate change quantitatively. The study has proposed a scheme for world climate change regionalization based on a half century of climate data (1961–2010). Level-I regionalization divides the world into 12 tendency zones based on the linear trend of climate, level-II regionalization resulted in 28 fluctuation regions based on the variation change of climate. Climate change regionalization provides a scientific basis for countries and regions to develop plans for adapting to climate change, especially for managing climate-related disaster or environmental risks.
An Integrated System-Oriented Model for the Interoperability of Multiple Emergency Response Agencies in Large-Scale Disasters: Implications for the Persian Gulf
Najmedin Meshkati, Maryam Tabibzadeh
2016, 7(3): 227-244. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0099-0
Failures in complex technological systems could have multiple dire aftermaths, including many deaths and injuries. These events, such as nuclear accidents, pose serious threats and long-lasting health and environmental consequences to workers, the local public, and possibly the whole country and neighboring regions. Such failures, given interconnectivities and interdependencies, could also have spillover effects and threaten the integrity of other systems operating in the same area. There is an essential need for effective integration and interoperability among multiple emergency response agencies, possibly from different countries, in the case of an accident in a safety-sensitive industry that causes the release of hazardous materials or contaminants. This article proposes a generic integrated system-oriented model to address this urgent need. It has been applied to the Persian Gulf area and its waters as a case study because of the existence of multiple co-located, safety-sensitive industries such as nuclear power generation, offshore oil and gas drilling, seawater desalination, and seafood harvesting. The Persian Gulf region and its ecosystems are highly vulnerable, and the countries around the Gulf are tightly interdependent, with an urgent need for cooperative emergency response planning. The Black Sea and other semiclosed, water-based ecosystems can also benefit from this model.
A New Quantitative Method for Studying the Vulnerability of Civil Aviation Network System to Spatially Localized Hazards
Hang Li, Xiao-Bing Hu, Xiaomei Guo, Zhen Xu, P. H. A. J. M. van Gelder
2016, 7(3): 245-256. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0098-1
As an important infrastructure system, civil aviation network system can be severely affected by natural hazards. Although a natural hazard is usually local, its impact, through the network topology, can become global. Inspired by Wilkinson’s work in 2012, this article proposes a new quantitative spatial vulnerability model for network systems, which emphasizes the spreading impact of spatially localized hazards on these systems. This model considers hazard location and area covered by a hazard, and spatially spreading impact of the hazard (including direct impact and indirect impact through network topology) and proposes an absolute spatial vulnerability index and a relative spatial vulnerability index to reflect the vulnerability of a network system to local hazards. The model is then applied to study the spatial vulnerability of the Chinese civil aviation network system. The simulation results show that (1) the proposed model is effective and useful to study spatial vulnerability of civil aviation network systems as the results well explain the general situation of the Chinese civil aviation system; and (2) the Chinese civil aviation network system is highly vulnerable to local hazards when indirect impacts through network connections are considered.
Geographical Analysis of Community Resilience to Seismic Hazard in Southwest China
Xiaolu Li, Lei Wang, Shan Liu
2016, 7(3): 257-276. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0091-8
This article presents an explorative analysis of community resilience to seismic hazard in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake area of Southwest China. We used a regression model to analyze the impact of 13 key socioeconomic and demographic variables on community resilience in 105 counties, based on data derived from population census and provincial statistical yearbooks of China. In this research, we argue that community resilience should be measured by the change of population growth rate (Δdp) instead of population growth rate (dp) when using socioeconomic data from a fast-growing country such as China. Using Δdp as the dependent variable resulted in a better regression model. To avoid the common multicollinearity problems among the independent variables, a principal component-based factor analysis was used to consolidate the socioeconomic variables into four comprehensive factors. The geographically weighted regression coefficient maps revealed the spatial pattern of the association of the variables with resilience. We also used the K-means cluster method to segment the study area into four subregions that exhibit localized characteristics defined by the regression coefficients. In this way, we could infer location-sensitive disaster management policies that help to enhance social resilience to seismic hazards.
Fuzzy Boundaries Between Post-Disaster Phases: The Case of L’Aquila, Italy
Diana Contreras
2016, 7(3): 277-292. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0095-4
A number of indices have been developed for measuring vulnerability to disasters, but little attention has been paid to recovery indices. Post-disaster periods are usually divided into four phases. The terms established by the United Nations Development Programme for post-disaster phases—relief, early recovery, recovery, and development—are used in this article. This research examines the hypothesis that the boundaries between post-disaster recovery phases are fuzzy and should be defined by the progress achieved in the recovery process, rather than by the amount of time elapsed since the event. The methodology employed involved four steps: fieldwork, mapping, identification of indicators, and assessment. The case study area was the city of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, which was struck by an earthquake in April 2009. For each phase of the recovery process in L’Aquila a score was calculated based on the progress observed in 2016, 7 years after the earthquake. The highest score went to the early recovery phase (14 points), followed by the recovery phase (13 points), the development phase (12 points), and the relief phase (4 points). The results demonstrate the possibility of defining post-disaster recovery phases in an affected area based on measuring achievements through indicators rather than defining recovery phases in terms of elapsed time after a disaster.
A GIS-Based Framework for Real-Time Debris-Flow Hazard Assessment for Expressways in Korea
Han-Saem Kim, Choong-Ki Chung, Sang-Rae Kim, Kyung-Suk Kim
2016, 7(3): 293-311. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0096-3
Debris flows caused by heavy rainfall in mountain areas near expressways lead to severe social and economic losses and sometimes result in casualties. Therefore, the development of a real-time system for debris-flow hazard assessment is necessary to provide preliminary information for rapid decision making about evacuations or restoration measures, as well as to prevent secondary disasters caused by debris flows. Recently, various map-based approaches have been proposed using multi-attribute criteria and assessment methods for debris-flow susceptibilities. For the macrozonation of debris-flow hazard at a national scale, a simplified method such as the Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC) debris-flow hazard assessment method can be applied for systematic analysis based on geographic information systems (GIS) and monitoring networks. In this study, a GIS-based framework of real-time debris-flow hazard assessment for expressway sections is proposed based on the KEC debris-flow hazard assessment method. First, the KEC-based method was standardized in a systematic fashion using ArcGIS, enabling the objective and quantitative acquisition of various attribute datasets. The quantification of rainfall criteria also was considered. A safety management system for debris-flow hazard was developed based on the GIS platform. Finally, the method was applied and verified on three expressway sections in Korea. The grading standard for each individual influencing attribute was subsequently modified to more accurately assess the debris-flow hazards.
Regional Impact of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh: A Multi-Sector Analysis
Afsana Haque, Sarwar Jahan
2016, 7(3): 312-327. doi: 10.1007/s13753-016-0100-y
This research investigates the impact of cyclone Sidr on six regional economic systems of Bangladesh. The study uses secondary data on direct damages and corresponding changes in consumer spending and public/private investment expenditure. It employs input–output modeling and simulates the changes in national and regional output, income, and employment due to cyclone Sidr. Our findings indicate that coastal regions of Bangladesh—Barisal, Chittagong, and Khulna—are more vulnerable to cyclone disaster than are other parts of the country. The cyclone-induced loss of output is highest for Chittagong Division and income and employment losses are greatest in Barisal Division. The most affected sectors are housing services, agriculture, construction, and industrial activities. But sectoral losses vary widely across the regions. This research also finds that the present state of consumer spending and investment expenditure is not great enough to handle cyclone-induced output, income, and employment losses. It argues that investment decisions must consider regional patterns of output, income, and employment losses in different economic sectors to ensure cyclone-resilient development in Bangladesh.