Expert of the Week   for  07 - 13 Dec 2015

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Ram Babu Singh


International Geographical Union (IGU) Expertise:  Teaching and Research related to Disaster Management, Climate Change, Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing and GIS and published in Jl. like Climate Dynamics, Energies, Physical Geography, Advances in Meteorology, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment, Hydrological Processes, Mountain Research and Development, Journal of Mountain Science, Advances in Earth Science, Asian Geographer etc.

Vice-President, International Geographical Union (IGU)), Head, Department of Geography, University of Delhi, India; Member, IUGG-IGU Committee of the Indian National Science Academy; Springer Series Editor Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences. He is representing IAP–Global Network of Science Academies in the UNISDR Science and Technology Conference. He was awarded prestigious JSPS Research Fellowship at Hiroshima. He has to his credit 39 research volumes/books and more than 194 research papers published in national and international Journals. In 1988 the UNESCO/ISSC (Paris) awarded him Research and Study Grants Award in Social and Human Sciences. He was also associated with prestigious international research programs such as ICSSR-IDPAD, CIDA-SICI and DFID. He has supervised 30 Ph.D. and 72 M.Phil students. He was also associated with NIAS, Copenhagen in 1998 and Visiting Professor at the University of Turku (Finland). He was also associated as one of the contributors in the famous-The World Atlas-Earth Concise, Millennium House Ltd., Australia

Climate Dynamics, Vulnerability and Disaster Risk Reduction in Mountains and Mega Cities

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Dear Pr. Singh,
I have two questions:
1- I like to know the natural major risks that are in direct relation to climate change.
2- Developing flood maps in arid regions through hydrological studies, but often faced with an obstacle the lack of rainfall data (historical rainfall). Are there other methods of preparation of inundation maps without the hydrological study ?
NOUI Abderrahmane

Dr ABDERRAHMANE NOUI RESEARCHER | Center of Scientific and Technical Research on Ari

APosted on 10 Dec 2015

  1. Climate has always been linked with disasters, hitherto, through climate variability manifesting in extreme weather events such as cyclones, storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, windstorms etc, with potential for catastrophic loss of human lives, damage to infrastructure and environment. These short term climate fluctuations and extreme weather events have been the most frequently occurring hazards and in combination with social vulnerability have been responsible for the vast majority of disaster losses worldwide (CRED, 2007). In the 21st century over the past three decades, climate related natural disasters occurred five times as frequently, killed or affected seventy times as many people, and caused twice as much damage worldwide as did earthquakes and volcanoes. In the past decade, weather-related natural hazards have been the cause of 90% of natural disasters and 60% of related deaths, and have been responsible for 98% of the impacts on disaster-affected populations, the majority in areas of developing countries (IFRC, 2005). Between 2000 and 2004 an average of 326 climate disasters was reported each year. Some 262 million people were affected annually for 2000-2004, more than double the level in the first half of the 1980’s (UNDP, 2007).


CRED(2007). Annual Disaster Statistical Review: Numbers and Trends 2006. Report bythe Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), School ofPublic Health, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium May 2007.

IFRC (International Federation of RedCross and Red Crescent Societies) (2005). World Disasters Report 2005: Focus oninformation in disasters. IFRC, Geneva

UNDP, (2007). HumanDevelopment Report 2007/2008. PalgraveMacmillan, New York.



  1. The most significant factor responsible for flooding in the arid regions is poor drainage and geology (effects infiltration). Flood inundation maps for arid regions can be prepared by using drainage maps, hydro-geology and Digital Elevation Model and taking creating hypothetical rainfall scenarios based on recent trend of rainfall. 

QQuestion by Ms Madeline Sigler

Dr. Singh,

I am pursuing a post-baccalaureate in Geological Sceinces. I have a interest in using my current background in tandem with geology to work with natural hazards and cultural adaptation and preparations for geological changes.

I was wondering if you had any information on this aspect of the effects/causes of climate change.

Madeline Sigler

Ms Madeline Sigler Undergraduate Learning Assistant | Michigan State University
United States of America

APosted on 09 Dec 2015

          If I understood correctly you are interested to link Culture with disasters. Here is response: Cultural Heritage is fundamental to the identityof the local communities and is an integral feature of every cultural landscape[1]. A considerable wealth of experience exists in protecting heritage and italso makes a direct and significant contribution to sustainable developmentacross its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Cultural heritage isalso a powerful asset for inclusive economic development, by attractinginvestments and promoting green, local and stable economic activities such as artsin general and tourism, conservation, construction, food production,traditional healing and, the production of crafts of all kinds in particular.Heritage is at risk due to disasters, conflict, climate change and lots ofother factors. At the same time, cultural heritage is increasingly recognizedas a driver of resilience that can support efforts to reduce disaster risksmore broadly [2]. Each year disasters caused by natural and human-inducedhazards result in the destruction of countless historical properties, museumsand archives that hold the history of humanity within their walls. Thesafeguarding of cultural heritage is important and must be ensured for futuregenerations, not only because it is a source of the cultural identity of alocal community, but also because cultural heritage is a driving force of theeconomy. Therefore the paper aims at assessing the disaster vulnerability ofheritage monuments in Delhi and Jaipur. Both the cities are endowed with richcultural past which are showcased in form of existing forts and monuments. Theassessment is expected to contribute towards preservation and conservation ofmonuments against disasters.

[1]Bradshaw, Elizabeth (2011) Why cultural heritage matters: A resource guide forintegrating cultural heritage management into Communities work at Rio Tinto.Rio Tinto Limited, Australia


[2]Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (2013) Heritage and resilience:Issues and opportunities for reducing disaster risk. Global Platform forDisaster Risk Reduction, Geneva