Anthropocene Geohazards Multi-dimensional Consequences Analysis

Anthropocene Geohazards Multi-dimensional Consequences Analysis

Jul 14th, 2016

Anthropocene Geohazards Multi-dimensional Consequences Analysis are paramount for meaningful risk management models. In too many cases risk studies take into account losses in a limited way, either by ill-will or by misunderstanding of the real implications of an accident or event.

Anthropocene Geohazards Multi-dimensional Consequences Analysis

The need for a unified, emergency/accident scale is vital to facilitate clear communication and mutual understanding of the nature of the emergency, by the public, government agencies, and responding organizations. It has been stated that “50% of the problems with (risk) communication are due to individuals using the same words with different meanings. The remaining 50% are due to individuals using different words with the same meanings”.

Interestingly, in many countries legislation still has not provided official definitions of “disaster” or “emergency”, as well as the difference in impact and immediacy of response.

An objectively calculable emergency scale should quantify and help clearly communicate the notion of “emergency”.

The elements that must be considered for the definition of the overall metric of losses are, at least and not in any particular order:

  • direct & indirect,
  • health and safety,
  • environmental,
  • image and reputation,
  • legal, etc.

Some national scale risk assessments we have reviewed, calculate the aggregated extent of damage by converting each damage into the same unit. That is, oftentimes monetary value.

The marginal costs are equivalent to the approximate amount of money that society is willing to pay in order to reduce the extent of damage of an indicator by one unit (Willingness to pay -WTP ).

That approach is simple and allows for specialist discussions.

The public does not master the skills necessary for this approach, thus requires a more direct approach.

The figure below displays the results of a geohazard risk assessment. The geohazard risk assessment use a sophisticated multi-dimensional monetary scale to express a consequence metric as well as words.


Anthropocene Geohazards Multi-dimensional Consequences Analysis was used in this quantitative risk assessment encompassing various scenarii

Solutions have been discussed by various authors recognizing the public needs to be well-informed with accurate, time critical information, especially in the aftermath of a catastrophic events.

Primary information source are event-specific scales that are inconsistent in their categorization (e.g. Typhoon, Earthquake, etc.) and measurement, adding confusion to public responsiveness. Furthermore, these scales are not extendable to new emergencies in a changing world.

Society needs the development of a unified emergency scale to facilitate communication and understanding.

Such a scale will inform local communities with regional community-specific information. The scale is extendable for further use by professional responders. Research in this field elicited 10-20 dimensions of emergencies. The next step was to:

  • rank the dimensions by importance utilizing Thurstone’s Law of Comparative Judgment, or
  • define ways to cumulate them.

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Category: Consequences, Risk analysis, Risk management

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