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Climate Change and the Future Impacts of Storm-Surge Disasters in Developing Countries

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Author Info

  • Susmita Dasgupta
  • Benoit Laplante
  • Siobhan Murray
  • David Wheeler

Abstract

As the climate changes during the 21st century, larger cyclonic storm surges and growing populations may collide in disasters of unprecedented size. As conditions worsen, variations in coastal morphology will magnify the effects in some areas, while largely insulating others. In this paper, we explore the implications for 84 developing countries and 577 of their cyclone-vulnerable coastal cities with populations greater than 100,000. Combining the most recent scientific and demographic information, we estimate the future impact of climate change on storm surges that will strike coastal populations, economies and ecosystems. We focus on the distribution of heightened impacts, because we believe that greater knowledge of their probable variation will be useful for local and national planners, as well as international donors. Our results suggest gross inequality in the heightened impact of future disasters, with the most severe effects limited to a small number of countries and a small cluster of large cities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 182.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:182

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Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

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Keywords: climate change; developing countries; disasters; coastal cities; storm surges; coastal populations; economic activity;

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  1. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David & Jianping Yan, 2007. "The impact of sea level rise on developing countries : a comparative analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4136, The World Bank.
  2. Stéphane Hallegatte & Nicola Patmore & Olivier Mestre & Patrice Dumas & Jan Corfee-Morlot & Celine Herweijer & Robert Muir-Wood, 2008. "Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A Case Study on Copenhagen," OECD Environment Working Papers 3, OECD Publishing.
  3. R. J. Nicholls & S. Hanson & Celine Herweijer & Nicola Patmore & Stéphane Hallegatte & Jan Corfee-Morlot & Jean Chateau & Robert Muir-Wood, 2008. "Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes: Exposure Estimates," OECD Environment Working Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
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