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Global Increase in Climated-Related Disasters

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas, Vinod

    () (Asian Development Bank)

  • López, Ramón

    () (University of Chile)

Abstract

Intense climate-related disasters—floods, storms, droughts, and heat waves—have been on the rise worldwide. At the same time and coupled with an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, temperatures, on average, have been rising, and are becoming more variable and more extreme. Rainfall has also been more variable and more extreme. Is there an ominous link between the global increase of these hydrometeorological and climatological events on the one side and anthropogenic climate change on the other? This paper considers three main disaster risk factors—rising population exposure, greater population vulnerability, and increasing climate-related hazards—behind the increased frequency of intense climate-related natural disasters. In a regression analysis within a model of disaster risk determination for 1971–2013, population exposure measured by population density and people’s vulnerability measured by socioeconomic variables are positively linked to the frequency of these intense disasters. Importantly, the results show that precipitation deviations are positively related to hydrometeorological events, while temperature and precipitation deviations have a negative association with climatological events. Moreover, global climate change indicators show positive and highly significant effects. Along with the scientific association between greenhouse gases and the changes in the climate, the findings in this paper suggest a connection between the increasing number of natural disasters and man-made emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The implication is that climate mitigation and climate adaptation should form part of actions for disaster risk reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas, Vinod & López, Ramón, 2015. "Global Increase in Climated-Related Disasters," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 466, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0466
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. World Bank & United Nations, 2010. "Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters : The Economics of Effective Prevention," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2512.
    2. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-333, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate; climate hazards; government policy; natural disasters; sustainable development;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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