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Carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration and hydrometeorological disasters


  • Andrés Fortunato

    (University of Chile)

  • Helmut Herwartz

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Ramón E. López

    (University of Chile)

  • Eugenio Figueroa B.

    (University of Chile)


We study the long-run connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and the probability of hydrometeorological disasters using a panel of 193 countries over the period 1970–2016 providing annual disaster projections to the year 2040 for each of these countries. Generating accurate predictions on where hydrometeorological disasters have greater chances to occur, may facilitate preparedness and adaption to such disasters, thus helping to reduce their high human and economic costs. We estimate the probabilities of hydrometeorological disasters at country levels using Bayesian sampling techniques. We decompose the probability of country disaster into the effects of country-specific factors, such as climatological and socio-demographic factors, and factors associated with world climate, which we denote global probability of disaster (GPOD). Finally, we subject these GPOD time paths to a cointegration analysis with CO2 concentration and provide projections to the year 2040 of the GPOD conditional on nine Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios. We detect a stable long-term relation between CO2 accumulation and the GPOD that allows us to determine projections of the latter process conditional on the former. We conclude that readily available statistical data on global atmospheric concentrations of CO2 can be used as a conceptually meaningful, statistically valid and policy useful predictor of the probability of occurrence of hydrometeorological disasters.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Fortunato & Helmut Herwartz & Ramón E. López & Eugenio Figueroa B., 2022. "Carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration and hydrometeorological disasters," 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. 112(1), pages 57-74, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:112:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-021-05172-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-021-05172-z

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