Climate Change and the Future Impacts of Storm-Surge Disasters in Developing Countries

28 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2009

See all articles by Susmita Dasgupta

Susmita Dasgupta

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Benoit Laplante

Independent Consultant

Siobhan Murray

World Bank

David Wheeler

Center for Global Development

Date Written: September 24, 2009

Abstract

As the climate changes during the 21st century, larger cyclonic storm surges and growing populations may collide in disasters of unprecedented size. As conditions worsen, variations in coastal morphology will magnify the effects in some areas, while largely insulating others. In this paper, we explore the implications for 84 developing countries and 577 of their cyclone-vulnerable coastal cities with populations greater than 100,000. Combining the most recent scientific and demographic information, we estimate the future impact of climate change on storm surges that will strike coastal populations, economies and ecosystems. We focus on the distribution of heightened impacts, because we believe that greater knowledge of their probable variation will be useful for local and national planners, as well as international donors. Our results suggest gross inequality in the heightened impact of future disasters, with the most severe effects limited to a small number of countries and a small cluster of large cities.

Keywords: climate change, developing countires, coastal cities, storm surges, coastal populations, economic activity, wetlands

Suggested Citation

Dasgupta, Susmita and Laplante, Benoit and Murray, Siobhan and Wheeler, David, Climate Change and the Future Impacts of Storm-Surge Disasters in Developing Countries (September 24, 2009). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 182. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479650 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1479650

Susmita Dasgupta

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-2679 (Phone)
202-522-3230 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/sdasgupta

Benoit Laplante

Independent Consultant

Siobhan Murray

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

David Wheeler (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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