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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: interviews » First Katrina-like hurricane hits Europe

version: 1 / created: 2011-01-08
id: #1386 / version id: #1386
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
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Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:
unpublished archived

Source of inspiration


The source of the Wild Card is

Interview with David Alexander (August 2010)


(max. 9 words)

First Katrina-like hurricane hits Europe


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Growing frequency of unusual events have increased expert's concerns about the potential for a major storm that could affect many countries at once or in turn. We have had these recently – in 2000 and 2002 floods in several European countries. Also tornadoes are highly underrated in Europe – these have happened (example the one in Birmingham), relatively small but we should prepare for a major one, which could result in a higher loss of life.


hurricane, Katrina, storm, tornadoes, risk


(max. 250 characters)

Strong Katrina-like hurricane affects many European countries at once or in turns.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Natural event (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, asteroid)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.
An extreme extension of a trend/development/situation
(e.g. Increased global warming leads to a total ban on fossil fuels)
A contemporary equivalent of past Wild Cards
(e.g. earthquake, tsunami or, similar to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the USA breaks up into independent countries sometime between 2025-2050, for example)

Type of systems affected





please specify:
please select
Level 2: important for a particular world region Costal areas
Level 3: important for the European Union

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Europe has experienced tropical storms in Portugal in 2008 for example and there has been research efforts looking at this – the Katrina project, which has nothing to do with America but is modelling the effects of a super storm in Europe.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Collapse of a system
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


Some ecosystems and important basic infrastructures will collapse while others will be critically transformed.

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Environmental Climate change

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
Major loss of life. Economic and social crises. Major health problems (e.g. epidemics, etc.).

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Develop contingency plans.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Diseases, health and well-being
Food security and diet
Social exclusion & poverty
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Sustainability and climate change

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Environment (including Climate Change)
Transport (including aeronautics)
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
More research and technology development into effective response mechanism in the event of major natural disasters in Europe.