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A Recipe for Disasters: Ensemble Prediction Systems and the Topological Fabric of Anticipating Flood Risk in the European Union

Authors: Sebastien Nobert*, Universite De Montreal
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Human-Environment Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: EPS, Temporality, Flooding, Anticipation
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Although the development of ensemble prediction system (EPS) has been a catalyst for research in climatology, computer science, meteorology and hydrology, and are now becoming the core of modern early warning systems for extreme weather management, their social and political dimensions have yet received little attention from the social sciences and humanities. Drawing on the geographies of risks and emergencies, the philosophy of movement and STS, this paper looks at the ways in which the implicated processes of time making (that give time its substance as uninterrupted transitions and intensities) come to disrupt emergency management. More precisely, it seeks to understand how different folds, contractions and extensions come into play in experiencing the temporalities of flood risk management and by doing so, it provides a look at the topological fabric of continuity and difference in emergency management. Finally, by looking more closely at EPS and their spatio-temporal implications to flood risk management in Europe, the paper argues that risk instruments such as forecasting tools are not only materialising the modern ideal of grasping the future, they are also preventing us to imagining the future outside the confinement of risk and subsequently to interrogate what kind of time is been shaped by and is giving shape to risk and emergencies.

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