Climate change impAct studies for RISk MAnagement - CARISMA

The CARISMA centre responds to the need for coordination of the numerous scientific profiles present at IUSS on the topic of climate change and sustainable development. CARISMA is the IUSS interface with the Center for Climate Change studies and Sustainable Actions (3CSA) of Scuole Univeristarie Federate and with the National Doctorate School on Sustainable Development and Climate Change. The main objectives of the research activity are:

  • Data analysis and modelling of the processes of the Earth System and the economic system.
  • Impact assessment of extreme natural events and anthropogenic activities on the environment and humans, with particular reference to climate change.
  • Risk assessment and management of natural hazards, including climate change.
  • Formulation and proposal of new economic, political and legal models of sustainable development.

Main research activities are:

  • Evaluation of the possible evolution of climate and the effects of climate change and climate variability on the environment, humans and social organizations, in support of sustainable development.
  • Integration of climate change in risk analysis and management, through the use of climate data and modelling.
  • Development of integrated methodologies to support the overall analysis of the risk associated with complex phenomena of natural and technological origin, also in combination (multi-hazard risk assessment).
  • Improvement of the modelling of the earth system, including its interactions with social and socio-economic dynamics in order to support the decision-making process for an integrated and cost-effective management of risks in support of sustainable development.
  • Development of Earth observation technologies based on the theory of electromagnetic fields and on the properties of the radiation-matter interaction involving mathematical (e.g. inverse problems and statistical inference) and physico-chemical (e.g. electromagnetism, microphysics, propagation and electro-magnetic diffusion) aspects.

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.


Research 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.


The CARISMA Centre is the coordinating entity of the didactic portfolio aimed at pre-graduate and post-graduate training on the topic of climate change and sustainable development available at IUSS. Active courses include:

  • "Introduction to Climate Dynamics", 25-hour course held by Dr. Marco Gaetani.
  • “Future Climate Projections and the IPCC report”, 10-hour seminar held by Dr. Marco Gaetani.
  • “From global to convection-permitting climate models”, 10-hour seminar held by Dr. Giorgia Fosser.

Furthermore, CARISMA is the main point of reference at IUSS for the National Doctorate on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, which will be coordinated by IUSS starting from the A.Y. 2021-22.


Scientific board:

Marco Gaetani (RTDB), Direttore
Clara Armaroli (RTDA)
Alessandro Caiani (RTDB)
Mario Martina (PA)
Dimosthenis Sarigiannis (PA)
Andrea Taramelli (PA)

Research fellows:

Marcello Arosio
Chiara De Bernardi
Giorgia Fosser
Beatrice Monteleone

PhD Students:

Luigi Cesarini (UME)
Wazita Scott (UME)
Margherita D'Ayala (UME)
Riccardo Giusti (UME)
Laura Teresa Massano (UME)
Ignacio Gatti (UME)
Naveen Ragu Ramalingam (UME)
Marco Cadau (SDC)
Angela Modica Scala (SDC)
Fatemeh Mojtahedi (SDC)

  • Università di Pavia
  • Scuola Superiore S. Anna di Pisa
  • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  • Ministero dell’Innovazione, Team per la Trasformazione Digitale
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • ENEA
  • Fondazione Enrico Mattei
  • Istituto di Programmazione della Regione Toscana
  • Centro Euro Mediterraneo Cambiamenti Climatici
  • Università di Padova, Istituto di Idrologia
  • European Commission Joint Research Centre
  • Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO)
  • Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (Francia)
  • Institut de Recherche sur le Developpment (Francia)
  • Agence Française de Développement (Francia)
  • Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (Francia)
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spagna)
  • Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria)
  • ETH Zurich (Svizzera)
  • Research Department Closed Carbon Cycle Economics, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germania)
  • Julich Centre (Germania)
  • Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (Germania)
  • Met Office (Regno Unito)
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
  • Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • European Institute of Economics and the Environment (EIEE)
  • Rebuilding Macroeconomics
  • European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy

To request information on technical/scientific issues related to the CARISMA Centre, please direct your correspondence to the Director of the Centre, Dott. Marco Gaetani 

Tel: +39 0382 375811
Fax: +39 0382 375899

IUSS Pavia
Palazzo del Broletto,
Piazza della Vittoria 15 - Pavia (PV) 27100