Laurens M. Bouwer

Laurens M. Bouwer
Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon | HZG · GERICS Climate Service Center Hamburg

PhD

About

173
Publications
91,569
Reads
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10,156
Citations
Citations since 2016
58 Research Items
7692 Citations
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Introduction
I am a Senior Researcher at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. My interest is studying impacts from anthropogenic climate change, on extreme weather events and resulting losses and damages. In addition, I have worked on topics of hydrology, adaptation policy, and insurance. I contributed to several reports of the IPCC (TAR, AR5, SREX, and SROCC). Current projects are related to applying data science methods to large climate datasets, and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to impact modelling. ** Send me a request or message, in case you are interested in any of my publications **
Additional affiliations
November 2020 - present
University of Hamburg
Position
  • Lecturer
February 2013 - July 2018
Deltares
Position
  • Senior Researcher
September 2001 - February 2013
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Researcher
Education
August 1995 - September 2001
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Physical Geography

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Increasing urbanisation in combination with a rise in the frequency and intensity of heavy rain events increase the risk of urban flooding. Flood Regulating Ecosystem Services (FRES) address the capacity of ecosystems to reduce the flood hazard and lower damage. FRES can be estimated by quantification of supply (provision of a service by an ecosyst...
Article
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Climate change is widely recognized as a major risk to societies and natural ecosystems but the high end of the risk, i.e., where risks become existential, is poorly framed, defined, and analyzed in the scientific literature. This gap is at odds with the fundamental relevance of existential risks for humanity, and it also limits the ability of scie...
Article
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Southwest Asia has different climate types including arid, semiarid, Mediterranean, and temperate regions. Due to the complex interactions among components of the Earth system, forecasting precipitation is a difficult task in such large regions. The aim of this paper is to propose a learning approach, based on artificial neural network (ANN) and ra...
Chapter
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The Digital Earth project aimed for the integration of data science and Earth science. Here, we reflect on the main lessons learned that include the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, thinking out of the box, the concept of ‘thinking in workflows’ and models for the sustainable implementation of scientific software, data infrastructure and p...
Chapter
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Data-driven science has turned into a fourth fundamental paradigm of performing research. Earth System Science, following a holistic approach in unraveling the complex network of processes and interactions shaping system Earth, particularly profits from embracing data-driven approaches next to observation and modeling. At the end, increasing digita...
Chapter
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Digital Earth is a project funded by the German Helmholtz Association with all centers of the research field Earth and Environment involved. The main goal of the Digital Earth project is to develop and bundle data science methods in extendable and maintainable scientific workflows that enable natural scientists in collaboration with data scientists...
Chapter
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Geoscientific data analysis has to face some challenges regarding seamless data analysis chains, reuse of methods and tools, interdisciplinary approaches and digitalization. Computer science and data science offer concepts to face these challenges. We took the concepts of scientific workflows and component-based software engineering and adapted it...
Chapter
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The Digital Earth project aims at a strong interrelation between Data and Earth Science and a step-change in implementing data science methods within Earth science research. During the project, the progress of interdisciplinary collaboration and adoption of data science methods has been measured and assessed with the goal to trace the success of th...
Chapter
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Artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) methods are increasingly applied in Earth system research, for improving data analysis, and model performance, and eventually system understanding. In the Digital Earth project, several ML approaches have been tested and applied, and are discussed in this chapter. These include data analysis using s...
Chapter
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The performance of adaptation measures depends on their robustness against various possible futures, with varying climate change impacts. Such impacts are driven by both climatic as well as non-climatic drivers. Risk dynamics are then important, as the avoided risk will determine the benefits of adaptation actions. It is argued that the integration...
Article
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Perspectives for risk management and adaptation have received ample attention in the recent IPCC Special Report on Changes in the Oceans and Cryosphere (SROCC). However, several knowledge gaps on the impacts of abrupt changes, cascading effects and compound extreme climatic events have been identified, and need further research. We focus on specifi...
Article
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Recent discussions in many scientific disciplines stress the necessity of “FAIR” data. FAIR data, however, does not necessarily include information on data trustworthiness, where trustworthiness comprises reliability, validity and provenience/provenance. This opens up the risk of misinterpreting scientific data, even though all criteria of “FAIR” a...
Preprint
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Myocardial infarctions (MI) are a major cause of death worldwide, and temperature extremes, e.g., during heat waves and cold winters, may increase the risk of MI. The relationship between health impacts and climate is complex and is influenced by a multitude of climatic, environmental, socio-demographic, and behavioral factors. Here, we present a M...
Chapter
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Correction to: Chapter 24 in: C. Kondrup et al. (eds.), Climate Adaptation Modelling, Springer Climate, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86211-4_24
Conference Paper
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Avoiding severe impacts from anthropogenic climate change requires not only substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions but also further implementation of adaptation measures. In many regions with smallholder farming systems adaptation can help ensure food security despite significantly changing climatic conditions. However, the space for ad...
Article
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This paper presents a novel dataset of regional climate model simulations over Europe that significantly improves our ability to detect changes in weather extremes under low and moderate levels of global warming. This is a unique and physically consistent dataset, as it is derived from a large ensemble of regional climate model simulations. These s...
Article
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In this study, the projected future long-term changes of the local wave conditions at the German Baltic Sea coast over the course of the 21st century are analyzed and assessed with special focus on model agreement, statistical significance and ranges/spread of the results. An ensemble of new regional climate model (RCM) simulations with the RCM REM...
Article
Nature-based flood defences (NBFD) are receiving considerable attention in the coastal adaptation field. Advocates of NBFD point to their cost-effectiveness, flexibility and the range of co-benefits they produce beside flood risk reduction. However, NBFD are not yet common practice. One reason for this may be found in financial barriers. To date, t...
Article
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Damage models for natural hazards are used for decision making on reducing and transferring risk. The damage estimates from these models depend on many variables and their complex sometimes nonlinear relationships with the damage. In recent years, data-driven modeling techniques have been used to capture those relationships. The available data to b...
Article
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Flood risk in urban areas around the world is increasing due to socio-economic development and climate change. Urban climate adaptation measures are beneficial over the longer term, particularly in coastal areas, yet the upfront costs of such measures are significant. Moreover, public actors responsible for adaptation to flood risk face constrained...
Article
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Recent evidence shows that climate change is leading to irreversible and existential impacts on vulnerable communities and countries across the globe. Among other effects, this has given rise to public debate and engagement around notions of climate crisis and emergency. The Loss and Damage (L&D) policy debate has emphasized these aspects over the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. This paper presents a novel data set of regional climate model simulations over Europe that significantly improves our ability to detect changes in weather extremes under low and moderate levels of global warming. The data set provides a unique and physically consistent data set, as it is derived from a large ensemble of regional climate...
Article
We thank the authors, Brunella Bonaccorso and Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen for their constructive contributions to the discussion about the attribution of changes in drought and flood impacts. We appreciate that they support our opinion, but in particular their additional new ideas on how to better understand changes in impacts. It is great that they c...
Chapter
Full-text available
The debate on “Loss and Damage” (L&D) has gained traction over the last few years. Supported by growing scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change amplifying frequency, intensity and duration of climate-related hazards as well as observed increases in climate-related impacts and risks in many regions, the “Warsaw International Mechanism fo...
Chapter
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This IPCC SROCC chapter assesses extremes and abrupt or irreversible changes in the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, to identify regional hot spots, cascading effects, their impacts on human and natural systems, and sustainable and resilient risk management strategies.
Article
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Many cities around the world face frequent problems with flooding, which is expected to get worse due to anthropogenic climate change and further urbanization. To tackle these problems often local infrastructural adaptation measures are proposed. In this study a chain of state-of-the-art models is presented that can be used to evaluate the benefits o...
Article
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Current and future urban flooding is influenced by changes in short-duration rainfall intensities. Conventional approaches to projecting rainfall extremes are based on precipitation projections taken from General Circulation Models (GCM) or Regional Climate Models (RCM). However, these and more complex and reliable climate simulations are not yet a...
Article
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For the development of sustainable, efficient risk management strategies for the hydrological extremes of droughts and floods, it is essential to understand the temporal changes of impacts, and their respective causes and interactions. In particular, little is known about changes in vulnerability and their influence on drought and flood impacts. We...
Chapter
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This chapter discusses integrated approaches to the management of risks related to extreme weather and climate change. This is done with the Loss and Damage (L&D) mechanism of the UNFCCC in mind. Relevant insights are provided for climate policy negotiators and policymakers on how risk management and adaptation interact with L&D solutions, and vice...
Chapter
This chapter asks whether insurance instruments, especially micro-insurance and regional insurance pools, can serve as a risk-reducing and equitable compensatory response to climate-attributed losses and damages from climate extremes occurring in developing countries, and consequently if insurance instruments can serve the preventative and curative...
Chapter
Full-text available
The debate on “Loss and Damage” (L&D) has gained traction over the last few years. Supported by growing scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change amplifying frequency, intensity and duration of climate-related hazards as well as observed increases in climate-related impacts and risks in many regions, the “Warsaw International Mechanism fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents current knowledge of observed and projected impacts from extreme weather events, based on recorded events and their losses, as well as studies that project future impacts from anthropogenic climate change. The attribution of past changes in such impacts focuses on the three key drivers: changes in extreme weather hazards that...
Article
Although often neglected, model validation is a key topic in flood risk analysis, as flood risk estimates are used to underpin large investments and important decisions. In this paper, we discuss the state of the art of flood risk model validation, using as input the discussion among more than 50 experts at two scientific workshop events. The event...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale coastal flood risk models are evolving to include more physical processes. New research utilizing these models suggests that we face a tremendous challenge in limiting future flood risk.
Article
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An upscaling of flood risk assessment frameworks beyond regional and national scales has taken place during recent years, with a number of large-scale models emerging as tools for hotspot identification, support for international policymaking, and harmonization of climate change adaptation strategies. There is, however, limited insight into the sca...
Article
Full-text available
An upscaling of flood risk assessment frameworks beyond regional and national scales has taken place during recent years, with a number of large-scale models emerging as tools for hotspot identification, support for international policy-making and harmonization of climate change adaptation strategies. There is, however, limited insight on the scali...
Article
Full-text available
Reliable flood damage assessment is important for decision-making in flood risk management. Flood damage assessment is often done with damage curves based only on water depth. These depth-damage curves are usually developed based on data from a specific location and specific flood conditions. Such depth-damage curves tend to be applied outside the...
Conference Paper
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During the late 20th century, a worldwide increase is observed in extreme precipitation due to anthropogenic global warming. This change is expected to lead to changes in urban flood impacts and for that reason it is of vital importance to assess future precipitation extremes. The conventional approach is based on General Circulation Models (GCM) o...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in society's vulnerability to natural hazards are important to understand, as they determine current and future risks, and the need to improve protection. Very large impacts including high numbers of fatalities occur due to single storm surge flood events. Here, we report on impacts of global coastal storm surge events since the year 1900,...
Article
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Depth vs. damage curves were developed for a flood risk assessment carried out in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The major elements of the damage assessment comprised building fabrics, building contents, distributed infrastructure and vehicles. Current approaches to damage function development were improved on by separating damage to building fabric and conte...
Chapter
This chapter aims to provide up-to-date quantitative estimates of the costs and benefits related to adaptation strategies for different sectors in Europe. This is done by critically evaluating modeling frameworks and contexts applied to adaptation and by describing new developments achieved in sectoral assessment models (water, agriculture, ecosyst...
Article
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Flood damage assessment is usually done with damage curves only dependent on the water depth. Several recent studies have shown that supervised learning techniques applied to a multi-variable data set can produce significantly better flood damage estimates. However, creating and applying a multi-variable flood damage model requires an extensive dat...
Article
Full-text available
Although often neglected, model validation is a key topic in flood risk analysis, as flood risk estimates are characterised by significant levels of uncertainty. In this paper, we discuss the state of art of flood risk models validation, as concluded from the discussion among more than 50 experts at two main scientific events. The events aimed at i...
Article
Full-text available
As flood impacts are increasing in large parts of the world, understanding the primary drivers of changes in risk is essential for effective adaptation. To gain more knowledge on the basis of empirical case studies, we analyze eight paired floods, i.e. consecutive flood events that occurred in the same region, with the second flood causing signific...
Technical Report
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The project ‘Flood and drought risk management under climate change: methods for strategy evaluation and cost optimization’ is a project funded by NOAA to improve decision making for climate adaptation. The project is executed in a partnership between the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Deltares. Within this project a case study...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flood impacts, such as damage and casualties are increasingly important in flood risk management. Estimation of flood impacts enables policy makers to decide on the type of measures to reduce flood risk, and how much investment is warranted. A flexible, generic tool (Delft-FIAT) has been developed using Python, NumPy and GDAL to enable the quick se...
Article
Full-text available
Flood damage assessment is usually done with damage curves only dependent on the water depth. Recent studies have shown that data-mining techniques applied to a multi-dimensional dataset can produce significantly better flood damage estimates. However, creating and applying a multi-variable flood damage model requires an extensive dataset, which is...
Article
Full-text available
With projected changes in climate, population and socioeconomic activity located in flood-prone areas, the global assessment of flood risk is essential to inform climate change policy and disaster risk management. Whilst global flood risk models exist for this purpose, the accuracy of their results is greatly limited by the lack of information on t...
Technical Report
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Drought is a frequently returning natural hazard in Florida, with at least one severe drought every decade. These droughts have had many impacts such as loss of agricultural production, reduced public water supply and saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwater aquifers. Furthermore, climate change projections for south Florida suggest that dry spe...
Article
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