The Impact of Climate and Socioeconomic Change on Typhoon Losses in China
36 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2015
Date Written: December 2013
China currently suffers from the impacts of tropical cyclones, with an average of 9 landfalls per year leading to approximately $3.9 billion in damages and 472 lives lost. In this analysis, we estimate the impact of socioeconomic and climatic changes on these disaster losses. We first calculate historical impact functions including typhoon damage, fatality, injury, homelessness, and people affected. We then use C-STORM, the China-Specific Typhoon Outcomes integRated assessment Model, to estimate the impact of climate and socioeconomic change on losses over the next one hundred years. Our results show that climate change will reduce the overall frequency of landfalls but increase the frequency of intense storms at landfall. We estimate that socioeconomic change will increase damages by approximately 118% across China, while development will decrease other losses including fatalities and injuries. Overall, climate change is expected to slightly reduce the expected losses from typhoons, with damages, fatalities, injuries, homelessness, and people affected decreasing by approximately 7%. However, disagreement remains across climate models and these general trends mask underlying heterogeneous losses across provinces. These findings are important to inform public policy on typhoon warnings, public adaptation, and risk management planning.
Keywords: Economic Damages, China, Natural Disasters, Climate Change
JEL Classification: D81, N55, O1, Q54, R5
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