The Impact of Climate Change on Hurricane Damages in the United States

40 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Robert O. Mendelsohn

Robert O. Mendelsohn

Yale University - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Yale University

Kerry Emanuel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Shun Chonabayashi

World Bank

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper quantifies hurricane damage caused by climate change across the US. A damage function is estimated from historic hurricane data to measure the impacts at each location given the storm's strength. The minimum barometric pressure of each storm turns out to be a better indicator of damages than the traditional measure of maximum wind speed. A hurricane generator in the Atlantic Ocean is then used to create 5000 storms with and without climate change. Combining the location and intensity of each storm with the income and population projected for each location, it is possible to estimate a detailed picture of how hurricanes will impact each state with and without climate change. Income and population growth alone increase expected baseline damage from $9 to $27 billion per year by 2100. Climate change is expected to increase damage by another $40 billion. Over 85 percent of these impacts are in Florida and the Gulf states. The 10 percent most damaging storms cause 93 percent of expected damage.

Keywords: Climate Change Economics, Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases, Hazard Risk Management, Science of Climate Change, Global Environment Facility

Suggested Citation

Mendelsohn, Robert O. and Emanuel, Kerry and Chonabayashi, Shun, The Impact of Climate Change on Hurricane Damages in the United States (February 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5561, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1955105

Robert O. Mendelsohn

Yale University - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies ( email )

195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
2034325128 (Phone)

Kerry Emanuel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Shun Chonabayashi

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/a/cornell.edu/shunchonabayashi

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