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Tropical and extratropical cyclone damages under climate change


  • Matthew Ranson


  • Carolyn Kousky
  • Matthias Ruth
  • Lesley Jantarasami
  • Allison Crimmins
  • Lisa Tarquinio


This paper provides the first quantitative synthesis of the rapidly growing literature on future tropical and extratropical cyclone damages under climate change. We estimate a probability distribution for the predicted impact of changes in global surface air temperatures on future storm damages, using an ensemble of 478 estimates of the temperature-damage relationship from nineteen studies. Our analysis produces three main empirical results. First, we find strong but not conclusive support for the hypothesis that climate change will cause damages from tropical cyclones and wind storms to increase, with most models predicting higher future storm damages due to climate change. Second, there is substantial variation in projected changes in losses across regions. Potential changes in damages are greatest in the North Atlantic basin, where the multi-model average predicts that a 2.5 °C increase in global surface air temperature would cause hurricane damages to increase by 63 %. The ensemble predictions for Western North Pacific tropical cyclones and European wind storms (extratropical cyclones) are +28 % and +23 %, respectively. Finally, our analysis shows that existing models of storm damages under climate change generate a wide range of predictions, ranging from moderate decreases to very large increases in losses. Copyright The Author(s) 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Ranson & Carolyn Kousky & Matthias Ruth & Lesley Jantarasami & Allison Crimmins & Lisa Tarquinio, 2014. "Tropical and extratropical cyclone damages under climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 227-241, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:127:y:2014:i:2:p:227-241
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1255-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mendelsohn, Robert & Emanuel, Kerry & Chonabayashi, Shun, 2011. "The impact of climate change on global tropical storm damages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5562, The World Bank.
    2. 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).
    3. Silvio Schmidt & Claudia Kemfert & Eberhard Faust, 2009. "Simulation of Economic Losses from Tropical Cyclones in the Years 2015 and 2050: The Effects of Anthropogenic Climate Change and Growing Wealth," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 914, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Daiju Narita & Richard Tol & David Anthoff, 2010. "Economic costs of extratropical storms under climate change: an application of FUND," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(3), pages 371-384.
    5. Mendelsohn, Robert & Emanuel, Kerry & Chonabayashi, Shun, 2011. "The impact of climate change on hurricane damages in the United States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5561, The World Bank.
    6. Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.
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