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Deep uncertainty in long-term hurricane risk: scenario generation and implications for future climate experiments

Ranger, Nicola and Niehörster, Falk (2011) Deep uncertainty in long-term hurricane risk: scenario generation and implications for future climate experiments. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment working papers, 51. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Abstract

Current projections of long-term trends in Atlantic hurricane activity due to climate change are deeply uncertain, both in magnitude and sign. This creates challenges for adaptation planning in exposed coastal communities. We present a framework to support the interpretation of current long-term tropical cyclone projections, which accommodates the nature of the uncertainty and aims to facilitate robust decision making using the information that is available today. The framework is populated with projections taken from the recent literature to develop a set of scenarios of long-term hurricane hazard. Hazard scenarios are then used to generate risk scenarios for Florida using a coupled climate-catastrophe modeling approach. The scenarios represent a broad range of plausible futures; from wind-related hurricane losses in Florida halving by the end of the century to more than a four-fold increase due to climate change alone. We suggest that it is not possible, based on current evidence, to meaningfully quantify the relative confidence of each scenario. The analyses also suggest that natural variability is likely to be the dominant driver of the level and volatility of wind-related risk over the coming decade; however, under the highest scenario, the superposition of this natural variability and anthropogenic climate change could mean notably increased levels of risk within the decade. Finally, we present a series of analyses to better understand the relative adequacy of the different models that underpin the scenarios and draw conclusions for the design of future climate science and modeling experiments to be most informative for adaptation.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 51
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2011 10:24
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37587/

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