Summer School 2015

Update: Version 1.2 has been released as of 13 June 2016! This version includes a table of contents and continuous page numbers, as well as corrections to various minor issues.

Greenhouse gas emissions have caused considerable changes in climate, including increased surface air temperatures and rising sea levels. Rising sea levels increase the risks of flooding for people living near the world’s coastlines. Managing such risks requires an understanding of many fields, including Earth science, statistics, and economics. At the same time, the free, open-source programming environment R is growing in popularity among statisticians and scientists due to its flexibility and graphics capabilities, as well as its large collection of existing software libraries.

This e-textbook presents a series of laboratory exercises in R that teach the Earth science and statistical concepts needed for assessing climate-related risks. These exercises are intended for upper-level undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and professionals in other areas who wish to gain insight into academic climate risk analysis.

This textbook is distributed as a PDF file through Leanpub ( The book’s source files are stored in a Github repository at

We’d like to make Risk Analysis in the Earth Sciences as useful as possible. If you have a comment about the book or a question about one of the exercises, please post an issue to the Github repository mentioned above.

The R scripts to accompany the exercises can be downloaded from this link: (Version 1.2, 13 June 2016)

You can open these scripts in a standard text editor, but they are best viewed in RStudio, which you can download for free from

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) under NSF cooperative agreement GEO-1240507. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Penn State Center for Climate Risk Management and the Rock Ethics Institute.