Climate change impAct studies for RISk MAnagement - CARISMA

The CARISMA Centre responds to the need for coordination of the numerous disciplinary profiles present in the IUSS that relate to the issues of climate change and sustainable development. CARISMA proposes is the referent at IUSS for the National PhD 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.
  • The assessment of the impact on the environment and humans of extreme natural events and human activities, with particular reference to climate change.
  • The assessment and management of impact associated risk.
  • The formulation and proposal of new economic, political and legal models of sustainable development.

The main research activities are:

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

Variability and climate change, extreme events.

A core line of research of the CARISMA Centre is the study of climate. The historical climate variability is analysed starting from observed data, both in situ and remotely (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 uncertainties associated with it are analysed making extensive use of climate simulations at global and regional scales, including high-resolution simulations, produced within 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 precipitation, characterized by short durations and high intensities, and heat waves, and to the Mediterranean region and developing countries, for their vulnerability to variability and climate change.

Impact of climate 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 and production infrastructures in terms of possible energy efficiency are investigated. To this aim, statistical downscaling of climate model data is carried out to obtain climate data at resolutions close to those usually used in impact studies.

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 risks related to it. In particular, the research activity 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 with respect to possible paths of future technological development.
  • 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 to promote a rapid green transition of the economy, both through direct interventions by public institutions, and through the development of adequate "command-and-control" (definition of standards and constraints on polluting activities) or "market-oriented" (EU emissions trading system, green taxes) regulation schemes.
  • Analysis of macro-prudential policies and financial instruments to reconcile 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 carbon-intensive sectors, and of policies for their mitigation.

Research in the field of climate and economics will be characterized by the use of various analysis tools, including: macroeconomic models with heterogeneous agents "Agent-Based" and "Stock-Flow Consistent"; network models; econometric models; machine learning.

Research projects

Financing: Lombardy Region.
Project: Development of innovative downstream applications through the integration of aerospace and terrestrial technologies, with a focus to real-time monitoring of the safety of territory and infrastructures, the extent and distribution of exposures and their vulnerability, the prevention and reduction of risks of natural and anthropic origin, risk analysis and emergency management in the Lombardy area.
Coordination: D-Orbit Spa. PI IUSS: Mario Martina.

Departments of Excellence
Funding: Ministry of University and Research.
Research lines: R1) Development of a risk-based approach for the sustainable design of structures and infrastructures, with particular regard to the those devoted to the protection from natural disasters and to sustainable development, PI: Mario Martina; R2) Development of a meteo-climatic modelling chain from the global to the local scale for the characterization of extreme events and their impact on the territory, on humans and on social and economic organizations, PI: Marco Gaetani, Alessandro Caiani; I1) Construction of a plant for the production of electricity and cooling from renewable sources for the High Performance Computing Data Centre of the IUSS School, for the reduction of its carbon footprint and the improvement of its economic-environmental sustainability, PI: Giorgia Fosser.

Funding: CARIPARO Foundation.
Project: In the context of climate change, assessment of impacts on floods, debris-flow sediment and forests of the change in the frequency of extreme events, using high-resolution climate models and innovative statistical methods.
Coordination: University of Padua, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering. PI IUSS: Giorgia Fosser.

Funding: PRO3 call for higher education institutions.
PRO3 project with Scuole Universitarie Superiore Sant'Anna and GSSI: When Green Meets Digital: Understanding the "TWIN" Transition in the Economy and the Society (Green-Digit). This project contributes to three missions of the PNRR (digitalization; green transition; social inclusion and health) by addressing the technological, economic and societal challenges associated with the twin digital-green transition.
Coordination: Scuola Sant'Anna. PI IUSS: Alessandro Caiani.

New recycling process for foundry sands: innovation aimed to get materials with high added value
Funding: Fondazione Cariplo.
Project: Study of the possible reuses of foundry sands and verification of the possibility of obtaining economic and environmental benefits from the recovery of these materials.
Coordination: IUSS.

Discovering, Understanding and Exploiting DIAS through Training (DUE-DIT)
Project: Copernicus User Uptake, Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake (FPCUP), Work Programme 2021, Copernicus Academy network.
Coordinator: ISPRA; PI IUSS: Andrea Taramelli.

MEDIATE - Multi-hazard and Risk-informed system for Enhanced Local and Regional Disaster risk management
Project: MEDiate aims to deliver a decision-support system (DSS) for disaster risk management considering multiple interacting natural hazards and cascading impacts using a novel resilient-informed, service-oriented and people-centred approach that accounts for forecasted modifications in the hazard (e.g., climate change), vulnerability/resilience (e.g.,  aging structures and populations) and exposure (e.g., population decrease/increase), building on the consortium's existing strengths in this domain.


The CARISMA Centre is the coordinating entity of the educational portfolio available at IUSS for the undergraduate and postgraduate training on the topic of climate change and sustainable development. The following courses are already active:
"Introduction to climate dynamics", 25-hour course held by prof. Marco Gaetani
"Climate dynamics and change", 20-hour course held by prof. Marco Gaetani
"Future climate projections and the IPCC report", 10-hour course held by prof. Marco Gaetani
"From global to convection-permitting climate models", 10-hour course held by dr. Giorgia Fosser
"Hands-on climate model evaluation", 20-hour course held by dr. Giorgia Fosser
"Complex phenomena: an economic perspective", ordinary course of 25 hours, held by prof. Alessandro Caiani
"Economic modelling with heterogeneous interacting agents: agent based and stock flow consistent models", 20-hour course held by prof. Alessandro Caiani.

In addition, CARISMA is the main referent for the National Doctorate on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, coordinated by the IUSS. 


Scientific board:

Marco Gaetani 
Alessandro Caiani
Giorgia Fosser
Mario Martina
Alessio Ricci
Denis Sarigiannis
Andrea Taramelli

Research fellows:

Marcello Arosio
Jlenia Di Noia
Beatrice Monteleone

PhD Students:

Luigi Cesarini (UME)
Riccardo Giusti (UME)
Wazita Scott (UME)
Margherita D'Ayala (UME)
Laura Teresa Massano (UME)
Ignacio Gatti (UME)
Naveen Ragu Ramalingam (UME)
Serena Sapio (UME)
Marco Cadau (SDC)
Angela Modica Scala (SDC)
Fatemeh Mojtahedi (SDC)
Blanca Natalia Castillo Bautista (SDC)
Elisa Nobile (SDC)
Esraa Elmaddah (SDC)
Marco Chericoni (SDC)
Mohamed Hamitouche (SDC)
Teresa Felici (SDC)
Thomas Dal Monte (SDC)


University of Pavia
Scuola Superiore S. Anna di Pisa
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Ministero dell'Innovazione, Team for Digital Transformation
National Research Council
Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
Enrico Mattei Foundation
Programming Institute of the Tuscany Region
Euro-Mediterranean Climate Change Centre University of Padua
Po River District Basin Authority (ADBPO)
RED Risk
Ecole Normale Superiore (France)
Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (France)
Agence Française de Développement (France)
Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (France)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria)
ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Research Department Closed Carbon Cycle Economics, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)
Julich Centre (Germany)
Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (Germany)
Met Office (United Kingdom)
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
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


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