Methodologies for economic impact and adaptation assessment of cyclone damage risks due to climate change

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Increases in wind damage are expected if the intensity and/or frequency of tropical cyclones increase due to enhanced greenhouse conditions (climate change). The paper proposes a methodology to estimate cyclone damage risks due to enhanced greenhouse conditions using residential construction in the North Queensland cities of Cairns, Townsville and Mackay as a case study, and then assesses the economic viability of several climate adaptation strategies. The analysis includes probabilistic modelling of cyclone intensity and frequency, time-dependent increase in wind speed from enhanced greenhouse conditions (global warming), and vulnerability functions of building damage. Increases in mean annual maximum wind speed from 0% to 25% over 50 years are considered to represent the uncertainty in changing wind hazard patterns as a result of climate change. The effect of regional changes to building inventory over time and space, rate of retrofitting, cost of retrofit, reduction in vulnerability, and discount rate will be considered. The risk-cost-benefit analysis considering temporal changes in wind hazard and building vulnerability can be used to help optimise the timing and extent of climate adaptation strategies. © Institution of Engineers Australia, 2010.

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Australian Journal of Structural Engineering