Using Analysis of Climate Change Effects on Cyclone Frequency and Intensity to Mitigate Damage Risk

In terms of damages, hurricanes<!–[if supportFields]> XE “hurricane” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> and tropical storms are a significant source of social disruption and economic hardship. According to many scientific studies, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>, the enhanced greenhouse conditions will lead to stronger tropical storms, and therefore higher levels of damage cost. A study conducted by Li and Stewart(2011) developed an analysis to assess growing cyclone<!–[if supportFields]> XE “cyclone” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> damage risk and the economic viability of hazard mitigation strategies in order to reduce the potential impact of these events.  The analysis utilized an approximation for cyclone wind intensity and frequency in combination with reconstruction patterns in Queensland, Australia<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Australia” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>.  The mean annual wind changes over 50 years were examined in order to rule out annual variability in wind speed change. It was determined that average wind speeds are increasing rapidly, and that building new houses to withstand higher wind velocities and retrofitting older houses to withstand the wind velocities would be economically beneficial in the long run.  Further studies will need to be conducted to further examine increases in flooding and storm surge activities due to climate change and their impact on an economic and social level. —Brian Nadler
Li,Y., and Stewart, M.G. 2011. Cyclone damage risks caused by enhanced greenhouse conditions and economic viability of strengthened residential construction. Natural Hazards Review, 9–18.

          According to evidence in recent scientific reports, enhanced greenhouse conditions will lead to an increase of intensity in tropical storms and cyclones<!–[if supportFields]> XE “cyclones” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]> XE “cyclone” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>.  While there is regional variability, the overarching idea is that frequency and intensity will increase. Li and Stewart examined the impact of tropical storms and cyclones on Queensland Australia<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Australia” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> in various predictor models that cover a wide range of wind speed increases.  Other parameters that are not yet fully understood, such as sea surface temperature (SST)<!–[if supportFields]> XE “sea surface temperature (SST)”<![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>, storm trajectory, rainfall rates, etc, are not taken into account and are left for future study. Three different mitigation strategies were created in order to examine their cost-effectiveness over time at reducing tropical storm damages, all of which assumed that wind speeds would gradually increase to 110% of current levels.
          The first mitigation strategy involved retrofitting foreshore construction, or housing construction closer to the ocean, which is projected to reduce damages by 15.8 million dollars if a severe cyclone<!–[if supportFields]> XE “cyclone” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> hits, 15% less damage than if nothing were done.  The second strategy involves retrofitting all houses built pre-1980s, but there is only minimal benefit from the upgrades. The third strategy is an attempt to improve enhancements in new construction farther away from the shoreline, which has a varying effect due to economy viability of the times.  It was discovered that the retrofitting of foreshore construction would be the most useful method of protection due to the high likelihood of stronger tropical storms along the coastal areas.
          For future studies, it is recommended that other variables be considered rather than merely examining risk in comparison with damage costs, since some of the strategies developed are not the most economically viable when correlated with the increasing damages by gradually higher tropical storm winds. Also, being able to look at effects of SST<!–[if supportFields]> XE “sea surface temperature (SST)” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> and other causes of heightened tropical storm activity in correlation with damage increases would also be beneficial in examining how much potential damage might be caused in the future due to the combination of all the effects warming has on tropical storm activity, and running an predictor analysis on the data. 

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