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Tropical storms and mortality under climate change

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  • Pugatch, Todd

Abstract

Extreme weather induced by climate change can have major consequences for human health. In this study, I quantify the effect of tropical storm frequency and severity on mortality using objective meteorological data and the universe of vital statistics records from a large developing country, Mexico. Using a measure of storm exposure that accounts for both windspeed dispersion and population density along the storm track, I project changes in past storm-related mortality under various scenarios of continued climate change, while holding population and income at contemporaneous levels. I find that storm-related deaths would have risen under most climate change scenarios considered, with increases of as much as 52% or declines of as much as 10%, depending on the interplay between increasing storm severity and decreased frequency.

Suggested Citation

  • Pugatch, Todd, 2019. "Tropical storms and mortality under climate change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 172-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:117:y:2019:i:c:p:172-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.01.009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tropical storms; Tropical cyclones; Hurricanes; Natural disasters; Human mortality; Human health; Climate change; Developing countries; Latin America; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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