Workshop on Correlated Extremes

The Workshop on Correlated Extremes will take place on Columbia University’s Morningside Campus on May 29-31, 2019, preceded by an evening panel on May 28. It will be comprised of a blend of invited talks and abstract submissions, with significant effort aimed at generating discussion among the attendees. We are aiming for a total attendance of between 100 and 150.

Conference Themes

Motivation and Vision

The last few years have seen emerging recognition of the societal impacts associated with climate extremes that occur close together in space or time. Such spatiotemporally correlated climate extremes may result from many combinations of types of extremes, whose joint occurrence is attributable to internal climate-system dynamics in some cases and to significant anthropogenic influence in others. Global networks of trade and geopolitics make certain combinations and correlation structures especially potent from an impacts standpoint.

We thus define “spatiotemporally correlated climate extremes” based on the three categories below.

1. Compound/multivariate: events that occur at the same time and in the same place

2. Concurrent: events of the same or different type that occur at the same time and in multiple places

3. Sequential or persistent: events that occur at multiple times in the same place

The body of research on spatiotemporally correlated climate extremes and their impacts is rapidly growing and encompasses a wide variety of event types and author perspectives. For example, the topic is being studied by dynamicists, land surface and agricultural modelers, atmospheric chemists, hydrologists, and statisticians, among others. Projected changes in both circulation and regional feedbacks (such as land-atmosphere interactions) have been implicated in many of the observed and future increases in various types of correlated extremes. Finally, recent developments in spatial statistics and extreme-value theory have shown great promise for examining complex changes from a more theoretical perspective.

The continued advance of these developing lines of inquiry would benefit from clarifying variable and overlapping definitions, establishing methodological best practices, and delineating priority research topics. Therefore, our goal is to bring together researchers who have contributed directly to this topic, or whose work touches on a key aspect of it. The diversity of approaches that we plan to bring together includes dynamics, statistics, climatology, policy, and social sciences.

The workshop will complement prior related meetings with respect to the framing of risk as resulting from multivariate interactions, and to the need for more impacts-driven climate research across sectors. However, it will be distinguished from them by its broad survey of spatiotemporally correlated extremes (as opposed to compound or multivariate extremes alone); by its explicit interweaving of climate science, policy, and impacts; and by its placement outside the bounds of traditional event-based categories of study (e.g. heat waves, floods, and so on). Considering the emerging nature and broad applicability of the topic, we believe there is potential for highly visible and valuable research to emerge from this workshop. We are excited by the prospect of intellectual progress on understanding these particular kinds of complex climate extremes.

Expected Outcomes

We hope the workshop will help expand and integrate the community of researchers and practitioners becoming interested in spatiotemporally correlated extremes. Formulation and crystallization of key topics and research themes is a primary goal, with an eye towards fostering viable funding streams, inspiring future research, and supporting actionable science and risk disclosure. To this end, we plan to publish a peer-reviewed perspective piece, solicit attendees from a range of disciplines and expertise, and contribute to media accounts that foster greater public and academic awareness of the subject.

Confirmed Speakers

Kate Marvel (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University)

Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (University of New South Wales)

Philip Ward (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Marc Wüest (Swiss Re)

Jakob Zscheischler (University of Bern)

Registration and Abstract Submission

Registration is now open using this link
Abstract Submissions are now open through Feb 11, 2019 using this link.
Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by members of the organizing committee, and minor modifications to presentations may be requested in some cases. Notification of accepted abstracts and announcement of the final program will be made March 15, 2019. Please contact Radley Horton ( or Jaclyn Rabinowitz ( with any questions.

Accommodations in NYC

Rooms will be reserved at the Aloft Hotel in Harlem, close to the Columbia University campus. More details will be available shortly.

Organizing Committee:

Radley Horton (Columbia University)

Colin Raymond (Columbia University)

Sonia Seneviratne (ETH Zürich)

Jakob Zscheischler (University of Bern)

Amir AghaKouchak (University of California Irvine)

Thomas Wahl (University of Central Florida)

Noah Diffenbaugh (Stanford University)

Suzana Camargo (Columbia University)

Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University)

Olivia Martius (University of Bern)

Jaclyn Rabinowitz (The Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate)


This conference will be sponsored by Columbia University’s Adaptation Initiative, The Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, and others with logos below.