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Bier V. (ed.) The Gower Handbook of Extreme Risk: Assessment, Perception and Management of Extreme Events

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Bier V. (ed.) The Gower Handbook of Extreme Risk: Assessment, Perception and Management of Extreme Events
New York: Routledge, 2017. — 207 p.
The Gower Handbook of Extreme Events reviews approaches for assessing and managing the risk of extreme events: environmental catastrophe; engineering failure; financial or business meltdown; nuclear or other extreme terrorism. Extreme events are not only severe, but also outside the normal range of experience of the system in question. An event that is considered extreme in one system may be normal or average in another system. Also, while extreme events are often catastrophic, this need not necessarily be the case; events that are outside the normal range of experience of a system may be considered extreme even if they are not catastrophic. Events considered to be extreme often share other characteristics in addition to low frequency and severe or catastrophic consequences, such as high degrees of dread and uncertainty, and the involuntary nature of many extreme events. Extreme events are often caused by non-linear phenomena, such that a relatively small change in some causal factor can lead to a large increase in the severity of the event. One example of such nonlinearity would be threshold effects such as core melt or dam failure, where a small increase in some relevant parameter (e.g., core temperature, flood height) can result in a sudden transition from a near-accident situation to a severe accident. Additive or synergistic effects can also affect the frequency of extreme events, especially when system behavior is nonlinear. For example, normal flooding can become escalated to extreme levels due to a pile-up of non-extreme events such as soil saturation, heavy rains, etc. Similarly, in the area of industrial safety, extreme accidents can result from the additive effects of less extreme problems in system design, maintenance, operation, and oversight. Drawing from across disciplines and across the world, Vicki Bier s new Handbook offers a wide variety of perspectives, emerging knowledge and an authoritative voice to help harness our understanding and enable"
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