Workshop on Compound Weather and Climate Events

12 - 15 January 2021, hosted online by the University of Bern, Switzerland

Workshop description

Compound events result in substantial impacts due to interactions of atmospheric drivers and / or hazards that might be further amplified though societal responses and integration across infrastructure and trade networks. Currently our knowledge on key characteristics, the predictability and the future evolution of compound events is still limited. In addition, compounding effects of societal responses and potential feedbacks are mostly unknown.

The workshop is a follow-up event of the Workshop on Correlated Extremes held at Columbia University in summer 2019 and is organized in the framework of the European COST Action DAMOCLES together with the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research.

The meeting is further supported by the Grand Challenge on Weather and Climate Extremes of the World Climate Research Programme and the Working Group on Compound Events of the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events.


Physical understanding 

This session welcomes contributions focusing on understanding and quantifying the physical and dynamical processes associated with compound events using observations, numerical model experiments and statistical methods.

Forecast skill, predictability and climate change 

This session invites studies on forecast skill and predictability of compound events on time-scales ranging from nowcasting to subseasonal and seasonal. Contributions may also cover detection and attribution of past compound events, analyses of climate model simulations and process-based studies e.g., in the form of storylines of potential future changes.

Recent events as case studies 

This session invites studies on recent compound events, e.g., summer 2018 or the Australian fire season in 2019 / 2020. Contributions may focus on the physical processes, impacts, societal responses and resilience, and implications for preparedness and climate change adaptation.

Non-traditional methods 

This session invites contributions that propose or evaluate methods to assess very unlikely but high impact compound events (wild cards). Methods that provide different ways to imagine outcomes such as storylines, scenarios, downward counterfactuals.

Impacts, preparedness and adaptation 

This session welcomes contributions describing and quantifying the impacts of compound events using e.g., observational data, epidemiological data, loss data and modelling tools. A second theme are prepardness and response aspects such as communication, impact-based warning systems, or organisational aspects of responding to compound events, and discussions of factors that led to losses and damages. A third theme are adaptation challenges posed by compound events. This may include policy and legal aspects and general considerations of societal resilience and environmental justice.

We encourage experts working on compound event impacts in various sectors to choose the most fitting session, if in doubt the "Impacts, preparedness and adaptation " session should work for everyone. We particularly invite experts working on compound events impacts in the following sectors: health, agriculture and food, energy, insurance, ecology, aid and development, coastal hazards, and wildfires.


The aim of the workshop is to bring together specialists in the fields of atmospheric and climate science, climate impact modelling, statistics, forecasting, hazard prevention and first responders, and structural, societal and ecological vulnerability. The workshop will offer a platform to assess the current state of research, formulate key research question and highlight ways forward. It will foster interdisciplinary exchange and exchange between science and application.

We welcome contributions that advance our understanding of compound events, for instance by

  • discussing fundamental processes behind compound events,
  • introducing and applying statistical methods to quantify the occurrence of compound events,
  • establishing links between impacts and multiple weather and climate hazards,
  • estimating the effect of climate change on compound events,
  • linking compound events with vulnerability,
  • integrating knowledge on compound events in risk management procedures.


Abstract submission: 13 July 2020 – 1 September 2020
Abstract acceptance: 1 October 2020
Presentation type confirmation: 1 November 2020
Registration:  1 November 2020 – 31 December 2020
15 December 2020: upload prerecorded lightning talks (only for lightning session presenters)

Registration without abstract submission is possible.

Local Organizers:

Olivia Romppainen-Martius (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Jakob Zscheischler (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Steering Committee:

David Bresch (ETH, Switzerland)
Claudia Di Napoli (University of Reading, UK)
Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler (IIASA, Austria)
Radley Horton (Columbia University, USA)
Colin Raymond (JPL, USA)
Alexandre Ramos (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Ana Vicedo Cabrera (University of Bern, Switzerland)

The conference is supported by: