Risk Analysis in the Earth Sciences
Last updated on 2016-06-13
About the Book
Update: Version 1.2 has been released as of 13 June 2016! This version includes a table of contents and continuous page numbers, as well as corrections to various minor issues.
Greenhouse gas emissions have caused considerable changes in climate, including increased surface air temperatures and rising sea levels. Rising sea levels increase the risks of flooding for people living near the world's coastlines. Managing such risks requires an understanding of many fields, including Earth science, statistics, and economics. At the same time, the free, open-source programming environment R is growing in popularity among statisticians and scientists due to its flexibility and graphics capabilities, as well as its large collection of existing software libraries.
This e-textbook presents a series of laboratory exercises in R that teach the Earth science and statistical concepts needed for assessing climate-related risks. These exercises are intended for upper-level undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and professionals in other areas who wish to gain insight into academic climate risk analysis.
We’d like to make Risk Analysis in the Earth Sciences as useful as possible. If you have a comment about the book or a question about one of the exercises, please post an issue to the Github repository mentioned above.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) under NSF cooperative agreement GEO-1240507. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Other support was provided by the Center for Climate Risk Management and the Rock Ethics Institute.
Alexander Bakker presently works at Rijkswaterstaat in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in the Netherlands. He was previously a postdoctoral scholar in climate and flood risk management at the Pennsylvania State University. He received a Master in Civil Engineering from the Delft University of Technology and obtained a PhD in Regional climate change scenarios at VU University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on uncertainty quantification and framing in sea level projections and flood risk management.
Gregory Garner is presently an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University. He earned a PhD from the Meteorology Department at the Pennsylvania State University while studying ways of improving the skill and value of information provided by air quality forecasts in Baltimore, MD and surrounding cities. He now focuses his research efforts on robust decision-making, integrated assessment modeling, statistical data analysis, and coupled ethical-epistemic issues in climate change research.
Richard Alley is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the Earth and Environ- mental Systems Institute at Penn State, as well as co-director of the Penn State Ice and Climate Exploration center. His academic degrees are in geology, with the PhD from the University of Wisconsin, and MSc and BSc from the Ohio State University. His research addresses the climate history in ice cores, the physics and stability of ice sheets affecting sea-level change, and the influence of glaciers on the land surface. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Richard’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Sriver is an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC). Prior to joining UIUC in the fall of 2012, he worked as a research associate in Penn State’s Department of Geosciences and as a NOAA Climate and Global Change postdoctoral fellow in Penn State’s Department of Meteorology. He graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His research seeks to develop a deeper understanding about the physical processes influencing variability within Earth’s climate system, and to quantify climate change uncertainties relevant to adaptation planning and decision-making. Ryan’s e-mail address is email@example.com, and his Web site is at https://www.atmos.illinois.edu/~rsriver/index.html.
Exercise #0: Learning the basics of R
Exercise #1: Downloading and plotting time series data
Exercise #2: Normal distributions and the Galton board
Exercise #3: Other probability distributions and random sampling
Exercise #4: What is the economically “optimal” height of flood protection structures?: The Van Dantzig (1956) example
Exercise #5: Fitting a second-order polynomial to sea-level data
Exercise #6: Coin flipping and the bootstrap
Exercise #7: Performing a simple bootstrap with the sea level data
Exercise #8: Climate policy and the DICE model
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