A probabilistic-based framework for impact and adaptation assessment of climate change on hurricane damage risks and costs

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This paper presents a probabilistic-based framework to assess the potential hurricane risks to residential construction under various wind speed change scenarios due to potential climate change. Every year hurricane (cyclone) hazards cause extensive economic losses and social disruption around the world. Annual hurricane damage in the United States (US) is around $6 billion in recent years. Hurricane intensity or/and frequency may change due to the increase in sea surface temperature as a result of climate change. Implications of the changing hazard patterns on hurricane risk assessment warrants an investigation to evaluate the potential impact of climate change. The framework includes probabilistic models of hurricane occurrence and intensity and conditional damage state probabilities (vulnerability model) for typical residential construction in the US, and an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of various climate change adaptation strategies. A case study of Miami-Dade County, Florida is presented to illustrate the framework under various scenarios of change in maximum annual wind speed over 50. years. Demographic information, such as median house value and changes in house numbers, and distribution of houses on different exposure, is used to estimate the time-dependent probable damage with or without possible climate change induced change in wind speed. This study shows that climate change may have a substantial impact on the damage and loss estimation in coastal areas, and that certain adaptation strategies can cost effectively decrease the damage, even if the wind speed does not change. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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Structural Safety