Future property damage from flooding: sensitivities to economy and climate change
Recent trends in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have raised the concern that climate change could increase flooding risks and property damage. However, a major challenge in attributing and projecting changes in disaster risk is that damage is influenced not only by the physical climate hazard, but also by non-climatic factors that shape exposure and vulnerability. Recent assessments of integrated disaster risk have been hampered by the paucity of literature analyzing local-scale interactions between hazard, exposure and vulnerability in the historical record. Here we develop an integrated empirical analysis of historical flood damage that emphasizes spatial and temporal heterogeneity in flood hazard, economic exposure and social vulnerability. Using the Midwestern United States as a testbed, we show that annual property damage from flooding is projected to increase by 13 to 17.4 % over the next two decades. At the state level, over half of the increase is driven by projected growth in housing units. However, at the county level, the dominant factor causing future damage varies, emphasizing the value of a fully integrated, spatially and temporally resolved approach to assessing flooding risk and control strategies.
- Ashfaq M, Bowling LC, Cherkauer K, Pal JS, Diffenbaugh NS (2010) Influence of climate model biases and daily-scale temperature and precipitation events on hydrological impacts assessment: a case study of the United States. J Geophys Res-Atmos 115(D14), D14116. doi:10.1029/2009JD012965 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cramer W, Yohe GW, Auffhammer M, Huggel C, Molau U, Dias MAFS, Leemans R (2014) Detection and attribution of observed impacts. In: Climate climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press. http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/wurpubs/483086.
- Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (2013) The Spatial hazard events and losses database for the United States, version 12.0 [online database]. University of South Carolina, Columbia. Available from http://www.sheldus.org. Accessed December 2013
- IPCC (2013) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: Long-term climate change: projections, commitments and irreversibility. Cambridge Univ. Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1132 ppGoogle Scholar
- Mechler R, Bouwer LM (2014) Understanding trends and projections of disaster losses and climate change: is vulnerability the missing link? Clim Chang 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1141-0
- Peterson TC, Heim RR, Hirsch R, Kaiser DP, Brooks H, Diffenbaugh NS, Dole RM et al (2013) Monitoring and understanding changes in heat waves, cold waves, floods, and droughts in the United States: state of knowledge. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 94(6):821–834. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00066.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Romero-Lankao P, Smith JB, Davidson DJ, Diffenbaugh NS, Kinney PL, Kirshen P, Kovacs P, Villers-Ruiz L (2014) Chapter 26: North America. In: Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part B: regional aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1439–1498Google Scholar
- Wooldridge JM (2010) Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. 2nd edition. MIT PressGoogle Scholar