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  • Quantifying the impact from climate change on U.S. hurricane risk

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Quantifying the impact from climate change on U.S. hurricane risk

Source(s):  AIR Worldwide

The purpose of this paper is to explore how climate change may affect hurricane risk in the United States, specifically related to damage to residential and commercial properties. The work follows on from related AIR publications that consider the climatic effects on atmospheric perils responsible for multiple billion-dollar disasters that occur annually around the world.

The authors review the science behind climate change impacts to hurricanes and identify the elements used in this study. Second, they present an overview of the modeling methodology and describe adjustments to the model to simulate the climate change effects. Third, they provide a brief summary of the models and exposure data used to develop the loss estimates. The results are presented in two ways: first for hurricane-affected states considering wind, storm surge, and precipitation; and then for the three selected study areas considering the effects of sea level rise on storm surge. The paper concludes with observations and describes potential areas for future work.

The results of the analysis show that increased event frequency and sea level rise will have a meaningful impact on future damage. The growth in the number of stronger storms, and landfalling storms overall, increases modeled losses by approximately 20%, with slightly larger changes in areas such as the Gulf and Southeast coasts where major landfalls are already more likely today. The loss increases extend to inland areas as well, as stronger storms may penetrate farther from the coast.

The modeling tools and data presented in this paper can be extended for additional perils, including inland flooding, wildfires, and convective and extratropical storms. While there is considerable uncertainty in how extreme event risk may evolve in a warmer climate, these models are a practical approach to assessing the potential impacts.

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  • Quantifying the impact from climate change on U.S. hurricane risk
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Grenier, Roger R.; Sousounis, Peter; Schneyer, Jon et al.
  • Number of pages 43 p.

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