The Probability, Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment (PURE network) is an action that has been prioritized by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in order to increase the impact of NERC natural hazards research, and to take a national leadership role in changing the way in which uncertainty and risk are assessed and quantified across the natural hazards community. The action has two elements: a research programme – the PURE programme, and a research and knowledge exchange network – the PURE network.
It is expected that the PURE will make a significant contribution to the delivery of NERC´s strategy, in particular the NERC Natural Hazards (NH) theme. It addresses the first two of the major challenges in the NERC NH strategy theme report on:
- Integrated risk assessment & scientific advice;
- Uncertainty in forecasting & risk assessment.
The action has two high–level goals:
- To improve the assessment and quantification of uncertainty and risk in NH by developing new methods and demonstrating their applicability to enhance the uptake of NH science
- To stimulate good practice guidance and standardisation of the assessment and quantification of uncertainty and risk across the NH community.
The PURE programme will address the first high-level goal, while the PURE network will address the second high-level goal. Running alongside the main PURE research activities is the development of a web portal or ‘Experimental Zone’ designed to facilitate the sharing and fusion of models and data from a variety of different sources. The portal, or ‘Experimental Zone’, is currently under development by the British Geological Survey.
The PURE programme will also contribute to the RCUK programme on Global Uncertainties – Security for all in a Changing World. The programme will focus on the core research area of ‘Threats to infrastructures’ as part of NERC´s contribution to the Global Uncertainties programme. The PURE action is a follow–on activity to a Scoping study on the Analysis, Propagation & Communication of Probability, Uncertainty & Risk in NH (SAPPUR) carried out by a team of University of Bristol scientists affiliated to the Bristol Environmental Risk Research Centre, on NERC´s behalf.