The Swiss Federal Commission For Technology and Innovation, CTI, is funding a joint project by Carbon Delta and the Weather and Climate Risk Group at ETH Zürich, led by Prof. Dr. David N. Bresch, to develop a tool for the assessment of current and future tropical cyclone risks.
Tropical cyclones are one of the world’s most damaging and climate sensitive natural hazards and expected to become more severe over the next decades as the climate changes and coastal economies grow. High risk regions include the Caribbean and the southern Atlantic coast of the USA and Mexico, and also South East Asia where five destructive typhoons where registered in July and August 2017 alone. In the affected countries tropical cyclones pose a serious risk to investments and economic development.
At the end of August 2017, hurricane Harvey infamously made the headlines by flooding thousands of homes with 90-130 cm of rain in Houston, the largest city in Texas. The tropical cyclone also impacted oil and gas refineries throughout the state and is estimated to cause a total economic damage of up to $190 billion.
“Tools for the assessment of current and future tropical cyclone risks are required for a successful climate risk mitigation by governments, enterprises and investors”, explains Carbon Delta’s co-founder and CEO, Oliver Marchand. “We are simulating asset damage for tropical cyclones in a variety of climate change scenarios. These simulations will be further used to quantify the economic risk posed to single companies, investment portfolios, and whole countries, using Carbon Delta’s Climate Value-at-Risk model.”
The joint project has attracted funding from the Swiss Federal Commission For Technology and Innovation CTI. The CTI funds several hundred research and development projects, start-ups, and young entrepreneurs each year. Success stories include a smart street lights system adopted by the city of Lausanne, a solar compass for precise location measurements that has been successfully been transferred to industry, and many more.
The funding from CTI enables Samuel Eberenz to collaborate with Carbon Delta to do the required research and development on the project. Eberenz is a Scientific Collaborator at ETH Zurich. His work has focused on the development of sector-specific damage functions for Carbon Delta’s extreme weather risk model. Through his previous work at ETH Zurich, the University of Capetown, and WWF, Eberenz has developed a strong expertise in data analysis and aggregation as well as scientific programming related to climate change and meteorology.
Over the course of the CTI-funded project Eberenz will further develop and calibrate the weather and climate impact model CLIMADA developed by Prof. Dr. Bresch to compute on-site damage by tropical cyclones using Carbon Delta’s global exposure data. This will enable Carbon Delta to automatically quantify current and future risks related to tropical cyclones for thousands of companies – and market the results to our clients as part of our extreme weather metrics.
“The Weather and Climate Risks Group at ETH Zürich is excited to collaborate with the fintech startup Carbon Delta coupling the CLIMADA impact model with company specific data in order to asses the potential future damages of tropical cyclones worldwide yet at high resolution", adds Prof. Dr. Bresch.