VUB professor wants to map impact of climate change throughout human life

VUB professor wants to map impact of climate change throughout human life

VUB climate scientist Wim Thiery is analysing how climate change affects people throughout their lives. Due to global climate disruption, extreme events such as heat waves are expected to increase in number, intensity and duration in the coming decades. “Previous climate studies often looked at changes in risk between specific snapshots in time. Unfortunately, they usually ignored the evolution of climate disasters and individual vulnerability over a person’s lifetime,” says Professor Thiery. “Conversely, demographers study population processes within and across generations, but usually ignore the impact of climate change in the process.”

He plans to combine the two techniques in the LACRIMA project (Lagrangian Climate Risk and Impact Attribution), for which he has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. This prestigious European research grant enables promising researchers to carry out pioneering research. The grant is worth €2 million and Professor Thiery will use it to appoint a team of six researchers over a period of five years.

The aim of the project is to develop new concepts and methods for studying the effects of climate change and their risks for populations. “We will use climate models, satellite observations and artificial intelligence to quantify two notable consequences of climate change, namely heat deaths and wildfires. In addition, we aim to uncover age-specific vulnerabilities to climate extremes, including heat waves, wildfires, river floods, droughts, tropical cyclones and crop failures.”

By integrating climate science and demography, the LACRIMA project seeks to provide a comprehensive answer to the issue of whether and where people live unprecedented lives in terms of climate risks.


Wim Thiery:


Koen Stein
Koen Stein Perscontact wetenschap & innovatie



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