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7.4: Destructive Storms

  • Page ID
    11178
  • Violent storms are another risk to reckon with. Tropical cyclones cause on average more than 10,000 deaths and $40 billion (U.S.) in damages globally each year. There is now a strong consensus that the incidence of the strongest storms, which although small in number dominate mortality and damage statistics, will increase over time, even though there may be a decline of the far more numerous weaker events. The jury is still out on what might happen to the incidence and intensity of destructive winter storms and violent local storms such as tornadoes and hailstorms.

    Probabilistic Projections of Increases in U.S. Property Losses from Sea Level Rise and Increased Hurricane Power

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Projected probability distributions of the increase in annual U.S. property losses (billions of 2011 USD) from the combination of higher sea levels and increased incidence of intense hurricanes, under emissions scenario RCP 8.5. Compare with Figure 11. From Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\) shows projected probability distributions of annual U.S. property losses as a result of the combination of higher sea levels and greater incidence of intense hurricanes. A comparison of this graph with Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\) shows that accounting for changing hurricane activity roughly doubles the projected losses.

    Probabilistic Projections of Increases in U.S. Property Losses from Sea Level Rise Alone

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Projected probability distributions of increases (billion 2011 USD) in U.S. property losses as a result of sea level rise in the absence of increased hurricane activity. From Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus.5