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Variability and climate change, extreme events.
A core research line in CARISMA is the study of climate. Historical climatic variability is analysed starting from observed data, both in situ and remotely sensed (satellite products), and meteorological reanalysis products (e.g. ERA5 products, recently made available by the European Weather Centre ECMWF). Recent and future anthropogenic climate change and the associated uncertainties are analysed making extensive use of climate simulations at global and regional scale, including high resolution models, produced by the international programs CMIP (Climate Model Intercomparison Project) 5 and 6 and CORDEX (Coordinated Regional Model Experiment) coordinated by the WCRP (World Climate Research Project). Particular attention is given to the study of extreme events, such as extreme rainfall, characterized by short duration and high intensity, and heat waves, and to the Mediterranean region and developing countries, for their vulnerability to climate variability and change.
Climate impact on productive activities and human settlements.
The study of the physics of climate variability and change is accompanied by the study of the impact of climate on the environment and human activities. In particular, the effects of climate on hydrological extremes, such as floods and droughts, on agricultural productivity, on energy demand and the availability of renewable sources (hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic sectors), on human and animal thermal stress, on housing infrastructures are investigated. To this aim, statistical downscaling of climate model data is performed to obtain climate data at resolutions close to those usually used in impact studies. Furthermore, climate services are developed as part of the Copernicus Downstreaming Services initiative, oriented towards agriculture in particular and the energy and production sector in general.
Interactions between environment, climate and socio-economic systems.
This activity concerns the definition of policies and strategies for the mitigation of ongoing climate change and the management of the associated risks. In particular, the research activity is focuses on the development of models aimed at understanding the interactions between climate, environment and economy, with particular reference to:
- Study of the impacts on regional, national and international value chains of extreme natural events.
- Study of the impact of economic activities on greenhouse gas emissions and climate, also in the perspective of possible future technological development paths.
- Study of the economic impacts of climate change, both on the real economy (production chains, consumption, investment, employment, trade and public finance), and on the financial system ("climate-related stranded assets", default risks, insurance risks, financial speculation).
- Analysis of economic policies favouring a rapid green transition of the economy, through both direct interventions by public institutions and the development of adequate "command-and-control" (definition of standards and constraints polluting activities) or "market-oriented" (EU emissions trading system, green taxes, green incentives) private activity regulation schemes.
- Analysis of macro-prudential policies and financial instruments to reconcile the green transition and stability of the financial system.
- Analysis of the risks associated with the negative impact of the transition to a low-carbon economy on the carbon-intensive sectors, and the policies for their mitigation.
Research in the climate and economy will be characterized by the use of various analysis tools, including: macroeconomic models with "Agent-Based" and "Stock-Flow Consistent" heterogeneous agents, network models, econometric models, machine learning.
Collaboration within Scuole Universitarie Federate.
Within the IUSS, the CARISMA centre works in close collaboration with groups already active on related topics. In particular, with the CORDA centre, on environmental impacts and risk, and with the Research Group in Legal Sciences, on the legal management of climate risk and the legal instruments oriented towards sustainability.
Furthermore, CARISMA collaborates with the inter-federal Center for Climate Change studies and Sustainable Actions (3CSA), with the aim to enhancing collaboration within the Scuole Universitarie Federate and to increase the capacity to produce quality research and obtain external funds through the presentation of joint projects.

Autorità di Bacino del Po
  • Financing: AdBPo.
  • Budget: 30,000 EUR.
  • Objectives: Evaluate the hydrological risk on different assets using state of the art methodologies.
  • Output: Web platform for the estimation of hydrogeological risk in the Po basin.
  • Ending: December 2021
Agreement with Istituto di Programmazione della Regione Toscana (IRPET)
  • Funding: IRPET.
  • Budget: 15,000 EUR.
  • Objectives: The research project aims to analyse the risk associated with extreme climatic events on the basis of the expected evolution of climate within the Italian regions.
  • Output: Quantify the risk associated with the direct impacts on production plants of extreme events and the direct and indirect effects on regional, national and international value chains.
  • Ending: July 2022.