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[ClimateWeekNYC] Code Red: Vulnerability to Extreme Heat, Floods,...

September 22, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Code Red: Vulnerability to Extreme Heat, Floods, and Displacement

Hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)

Climate change is here already, but impacting different regions and groups differently. Mapping humanity’s present and future vulnerability to extreme heat, flooding, displacement, and other changes is vital to effective adaptation and greater resilience.

In his statement on the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared a “Code Red for Humanity,” highlighting that climate change is already affecting every world region and putting billions at immediate risk from evolving climate hazards. Extreme heat, flooding, and other climate impacts affect everyone, but many are especially vulnerable due to their livelihoods, location, poverty, and other factors. Climate change is expected to increase migration between countries, and displacement within countries, in the coming decades. Better data and understanding of patterns of vulnerability, and the ability to forecast impacts, are critical to efforts to adapt to a changing climate, increase societal resilience, and strengthen environmental justice, leaving no one behind. CIESIN scientists Cascade Tuholske, Carolynne Hultquist, and Alex de Sherbinin will highlight recent work on mapping extreme heat in urban areas, assessing social vulnerability to flooding, and modeling climate-induced population displacement. These efforts aim to provide decision makers and other stakeholders around the world with the data and tools needed to improve and accelerate adaptation to climate change.


  • Robert Chen, Senior Research Scientist and Director (moderator)
  • Alex de Sherbinin, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director for Science Applications
  • Carolynne Hultquist, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Cascade Tuholske, Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Scientist


About the Speakers

Robert S. Chen is director of CIESIN, a center of the Columbia Climate School. Chen manages the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center and co-manages the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Data Distribution Centre. He conducted one of the first studies of the potential impacts of sea level rise, published in 1980.

Alex de Sherbinin is associate director for Science Applications and a senior research scientist at CIESIN. He is an expert on climate vulnerability mapping and climate-related mobility (migration, displacement, and resettlement).

Carolynne Hultquist is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at CIESIN. Her research focuses on developing computational methods to integrate diverse data and assess flood risk by highlighting the socially vulnerable.

Cascade Tuholske is an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Scientist working with CIESIN. His research focuses on the intersection of climate change, urbanization, and food security. At CIESIN, he is leading efforts to use human population estimates derived from satellite earth observations to identify who is most vulnerable to climate change.



The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its university partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running Sept. 20-26, Climate Week NYC convenes key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.

Contact Information

Elisabeth Sydor