Sustainability Science

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 151–163 | Cite as

Effect of a global warming-induced increase in typhoon intensity on urban productivity in Taiwan

  • Miguel Esteban
  • Christian Webersik
  • Tomoya Shibayama
Original Article


A number of scientists have recently conducted research that shows that tropical cyclone intensity is likely to increase in the future due to the warming effect of greenhouse gases on surface sea temperatures. The aim of this paper is to establish what would be the likely decrease in the productivity of urban workers due to an increase in tropical cyclone-related downtime. The methodology used simulates future tropical cyclones by magnifying the intensity of historical tropical cyclones between the years 1978 and 2008. It then uses a Monte Carlo simulation to obtain the expected number of hours that a certain area can expect to be affected by winds of a given strength. It shows how annual downtime from tropical cyclones could increase from 1.5% nowadays to up to 2.2% by 2085, an increase of almost 50%. This decrease in productivity could result in a loss of up to 0.7% of the annual Taiwanese GDP by 2085.


Climate change Typhoon Tropical cyclone Intensity increase Productivity Urban areas 



The authors would like to thank the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for the Post-Doctoral Scholarships without which this research would not have been possible. One of the images was produced by Nilfanion on the Wikipedia Website, and released into the public domain. The authors would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments, which led to a significant improvement in the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, United Nations University, and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Esteban
    • 1
  • Christian Webersik
    • 1
    • 3
  • Tomoya Shibayama
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Advance StudiesUnited Nations UniversityYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.University of Agder, Centre for Development StudiesKristiansandNorway
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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