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Multi-hazard dependencies can increase or decrease risk

In risk analysis, it is recognized that hazards can often combine to worsen their joint impact, but impact data for a rail network show that hazards can also tend to be mutually exclusive at seasonal timescales. Ignoring this overestimates worst-case risk, so we therefore champion a broader view of risk from compound hazards.

Fig. 1: Illustration of plausible effects when the activity of hazard(s) switches between climatologically controlled modes of behaviour, based on Great Britain.
Fig. 2: Winter multi-hazard impacts in Great Britain.


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Correspondence to John K. Hillier.

Additional information

Peer review information Nature Climate Change thanks David Bresch, Rob Lamb and Jakob Zscheischler for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Discussions 1–3 and Figs. 1 and 2.

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Hillier, J.K., Matthews, T., Wilby, R.L. et al. Multi-hazard dependencies can increase or decrease risk. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 595–598 (2020).

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