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The impact of climate change on hurricane damages in the United States

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Author Info

  • Mendelsohn, Robert
  • Emanuel, Kerry
  • Chonabayashi, Shun

Abstract

This paper quantifies hurricane damage caused by climate change across the US. A damage function is estimated from historic hurricane data to measure the impacts at each location given the storm's strength. The minimum barometric pressure of each storm turns out to be a better indicator of damages than the traditional measure of maximum wind speed. A hurricane generator in the Atlantic Ocean is then used to create 5000 storms with and without climate change. Combining the location and intensity of each storm with the income and population projected for each location, it is possible to estimate a detailed picture of how hurricanes will impact each state with and without climate change. Income and population growth alone increase expected baseline damage from $9 to $27 billion per year by 2100. Climate change is expected to increase damage by another $40 billion. Over 85 percent of these impacts are in Florida and the Gulf states. The 10 percent most damaging storms cause 93 percent of expected damage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5561.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5561

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Related research

Keywords: Climate Change Economics; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Hazard Risk Management; Science of Climate Change; Global Environment Facility;

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References

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  1. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles A. Register, 2004. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Working Papers 0415, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  2. Warren Kriesel & Craig Landry, 2004. "Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program: An Empirical Analysis for Coastal Properties," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(3), pages 405-420.
  3. Ariel R. Belasen & Solomon W. Polachek, 2008. "How Hurricanes Affect Wages and Employment in Local Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 49-53, May.
  4. Tol, Richard S. J. & Narita, Daiju & Anthoff, David, 2008. "Damage Costs of Climate Change through Intensification of Tropical Cyclone Activities: An Application of FUND," Papers WP259, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Hurrican damage and climate change
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-12-02 15:20:00
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Cited by:
  1. Kousky, Carolyn, 2012. "Informing Climate Adaptation: A Review of the Economic Costs of Natural Disasters, Their Determinants, and Risk Reduction Options," Discussion Papers dp-12-28, Resources For the Future.
  2. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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