We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Electricity is the backbone of European society. When a natural disaster hits the power grid, recovery can happen in a matter of hours or it could take months to fully restore electricity supply. As well as hampering emergency response efforts, power cuts can trigger accidents and bring economic activity to a halt.
Damage to critical infrastructure caused by climate hazards could triple by the 2020s and multiply over ten-fold by the end of the century.
Weather-related disasters could affect around two-thirds of the European population annually by the end of this century. This could result in a 50-fold increase in fatalities compared to today if no measures are taken, according to a new study by the Joint Research Centre – the science and knowledge service of the European Commission.
One out of three people in the world is exposed to earthquakes, a number which almost doubled in the past 40 years. Around 1 billion in 155 countries are exposed to floods and 414 million live near one of the 220 most dangerous volcanoes. The 2017 edition of the JRC Atlas of the Human Planet looks at the exposure of people and built-up areas to the six major natural hazards, and its evolution over the last 40 years.
Natural and man-made disasters threaten millions of people every year and cause billions of property damage. How much do we know about them? And how can we use that knowledge to save lives and money? A recent report, compiled by the European Commission's Science and Knowledge Service (JRC), seeks to answer these and other questions and to help prepare for the time when disaster strikes.