Standard Article

Risk Assessment, Management and Uncertainties

Extremes and Environmental Risk

  1. Richard Griffiths

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.var049

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Griffiths, R. 2006. Risk Assessment, Management and Uncertainties. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The need to understand the risks of an undertaking has led to the development of systematic methods of analysis for a number of areas of application. Some are concerned mainly or even solely with one kind of potential gain or loss, e.g. financial, whilst others are more obviously multidimensional, involving factors that are essentially incommensurate. Industrial impact on the environment is the focus of this article, and the term industrial and environmental risk is used to indicate the general scope. This article attempts to trace the development of the subject in such a way as to illustrate concepts and methods that have a general relevance across a number of specific areas of application. It is emphasized that risk is a multidimensional and dynamic concept that defies attempts to encompass its complexity within a single disciplinary framework, or to express it quantitatively on a single scale. The article emphasizes the need to be aware of the interaction between factual information and the value systems of stakeholders. Pitfalls of not maintaining this awareness are illustrated. The article aims to promote a critical approach to the use of risk assessment methods and concepts in pursuing the objectives of risk management.