Climatological Hazards

Term Level Definition Source
Climatological hazard Subgroup A hazard caused by long-lived, meso- to macro-scale atmospheric processes ranging from intra-seasonal to multi-decadal climate variability. IRDR
Drought Type Subtype An extended period of unusually low precipitation that produces a shortage of water for people, animals, and plants. Drought is different from most other hazards in that it develops slowly, sometimes even over the years, and its onset is generally difficult to detect. Drought is not solely a physical phenomenon because its impacts can be exacerbated by human activities and water supply demands. Drought is therefore often defined both conceptually and operationally. Operational definitions of drought, i.e., the degree of precipitation reduction that constitutes a drought, vary by locality, climate, and environmental sector. IRDR
Glacial lake outburst flood Type Subtype These floods occur when water held back by a glacier or moraine is suddenly released. Glacial lakes can be at the front of the glacier (marginal lake) or below the ice sheet (sub-glacial lake). IRDR1
Wildfire Type Subtype (General) Any uncontrolled and non-prescribed combustion or burning of plants in a natural setting such as a forest, grassland, brush land or tundra, which consumes natural fuels and spreads based on environmental conditions (e.g., wind, or topography). Wildfires can be triggered by lightning or human actions. IRDR
Forest fire Subtype A type of wildfire in a wooded area. IRDR
Land fire (Brush, Bush, Pasture) Subtype A type of wildfire in a brush, bush, pasture, grassland, or other treeless natural environment. IRDR2

  1. The definition of “Glacial lake outburst flood” corresponds to the definition of “Glacial lake outburst” in the IRDR glossary. ↩︎

  2. Not defined in the IRDR glossary but adapted from the “Wildfire” and “Forest fire” definitions. ↩︎