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Contributors to the frequency of intense climate disasters in Asia-Pacific countries

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  • Vinod Thomas

    ()

  • Jose Albert

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  • Cameron Hepburn

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Abstract

The frequency of intense natural disasters (defined here as events triggered by hazards of nature and causing at least 100 deaths or affecting the survival needs of at least 1,000 people) has been on the rise over the past 40 years. This is especially true for Asia and the Pacific, where such disasters have long been relatively frequent. A crucial question is the extent to which the frequency of such disasters is related to increases in the number of people exposed to hazards, changes in people’s vulnerability to hazards, and temperature and precipitation anomalies. This paper addresses this question with an econometric analysis of disaster risk determination for countries of Asia and the Pacific during 1971–2010. The objective is to determine the role (if any) of greater likelihood of climate-related natural hazards, alongside changes in exposure of people to the hazards and their greater vulnerability, in explaining the annual frequency of climate-related disasters. Results indicate that hydrometeorological disasters are strongly associated with rising population exposure as well as precipitation anomalies, while climatological disasters are strongly associated with changing temperatures. Taken together with the evidence from literature that it is “very likely” that the rising incidence of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere is altering the climate system, the findings suggest a connection between the frequency of intense natural disasters observed in the region and man-made climate change. Copyright The Author(s) 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Vinod Thomas & Jose Albert & Cameron Hepburn, 2014. "Contributors to the frequency of intense climate disasters in Asia-Pacific countries," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 381-398, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:126:y:2014:i:3:p:381-398
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1232-y
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10584-014-1232-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiao-Chen Yuan & Xun Sun & Upmanu Lall & Zhi-Fu Mi & Jun He & Yi-Ming Wei, 2016. "China’s socioeconomic risk from extreme events in a changing climate: a hierarchical Bayesian model," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 169-181, November.
    2. Ilan Noy, 2016. "Natural disasters in the Pacific Island Countries: new measurements of impacts," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 84(1), pages 7-18, November.
    3. Rajag M. Nag & Johannes F. Linn & Harinder S. Kohli (ed.), 2016. "Central Asia 2050: Unleashing the Region's Potential," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number centasia2050, August.
    4. Ramon Lopez & Vinod Thomas & Pablo Troncoso, 2016. "Economic growth, natural disasters and climate change: New empirical estimates," Working Papers wp434, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    5. Noy, Ilan, 2015. "Natural disasters and climate change in the Pacific island countries: New non-monetary measurements of impacts," Working Paper Series 4200, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    6. UNESCO Publishing, 2015. "The Economic Cost of Out-of-School Children in Southeast Asia," Working Papers id:7651, eSocialSciences.

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