Increasing hurricane damages

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:53 PM GMT on December 05, 2008

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A conference called the Hurricane Science for Safety Leadership Forum convened this week in Orlando to look at how we can better prepare for the inevitable hurricanes in our future. The conference brought together an interesting mix of experts--scientists from environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation, insurance industry representitives, and a representative from the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

There are a number of interesting Powerpoint and video presentations posted on their web site, for those interested. The most eye-opening fact I saw came during a presentation done by Amanda Staudt of the National Wildlife Federation. In her presentation on the policy implication of hurricanes and climate change, she showed that the population of South Florida is projected to grow from a 1990 population of 6.3 million to a 2050 population of 15-30 million people. That's a startling increase in population. Higher and higher hurricane damage tabs are inevitable in coming decades, just from this huge increase in population. She goes further, showing that if the theoretical predictions for global warming by the end of the century come true--a 2-13% increase in hurricane winds due to ocean warming, a 10-31% increase in hurricane rainfall, and an increase in sea level of several feet--there is likely to be a huge increase in hurricane damage, and probably in deaths, as well.

I have a few comments on this. While I believe that hurricane damages will continue to grow primarily because of population increases, higher wealth, and poor land management, the contribution of increased damage due to global warming will start to become significant by the end of the century. The 5% increase in hurricane winds per °C of ocean warming theorized by hurricane researcher Dr. Kerry Emanuel (Emanuel, 2005) may not seem like much, it will make a significant difference in the destructive power of the strongest storms. A Category 4 hurricane does about four times more damage than a Category 3 hurricane, and 250 times more damage than a Category 1 storm (Figure 1). Given the expected increase of tropical sea surface temperatures of 1-2 °C by 2100, hurricane wind speeds should increase by 5-10%. Since the difference in wind speed between a Category 3 and Category 4 hurricane is about 15%, we can anticipate that the strongest hurricanes in 2100 will do 1 1/2 to 3 times more damage than they do now.

This may be an underestimate of the increase in damage, though. Global sea level rose about 0.75 feet last century, and is expected to rise 0.6 - 1.9 feet this century, according to the "official" word on climate, the 2007 report of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A paper published by Pfeffer et al. in Science this year concluded that the IPCC underestimated sea level rise, and that the "most likely" range of sea level rise by 2100 is 2.6 - 6.6 feet. If true, we can expect greatly increased damage from hurricane storm surges. However, it is possible that there will be fewer hurricanes by the end of the century, thanks to an increase in wind shear over the tropical Atlantic (Vecchi and Soden, 2007).


Figure 1. Potential hurricane damage as a function of Saffir-Simpson category for U.S. hurricanes between 1925-1995. If the median damage from a Category 1 hurricane is normalized to be a "one", then Category 2, 3, and 4 hurricanes were 10, 50, and 250 times more damaging, respectively. Data taken from Pielke, Jr. R. A., and C. W. Landsea, 1998: "Normalized Atlantic hurricane damage 1925-1995" Wea. Forecasting, 13, pp.621-631.

Better building codes
Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-MS, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, helped to kick off the conference with opening remarks that underscored his intention to hold Congressional hearings on developing new building codes in hurricane-prone areas. He was hopeful that President-elect Obama and new incoming head of Homeland Security, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, would work to adopt new, tougher building standards. "Take a look at the homes on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas that are still standing after the hurricane," Thompson said. "We know how to build stronger homes. Now we just need to do it." Thompson said that while such legislation had been introduced in the past but failed, chances were better under an Obama administration of passage.

I think it is essential that more stringent and comprehensive building codes get adopted in hurricane alley to reduce the inevitable huge price tags from future hurricanes.

References
Emanuel, K. 2005, "Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years", Nature, 436, 4 August 2005, doi:10.1038/nature03906.

Vecchi, G.A., and B.J. Soden, 2007, "Increased tropical Atlantic wind shear in model projections of global warming", Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L08702, doi:10.1029/2006GL028905, 2007.

Jeff Masters

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In S. Ontario, we have about 6 cm (2 in) of snow. More snow is coming, perhaps around 20 cm (8 in) in the next few days, although some areas already have more than 60 cm (2 ft). Again, I think Gustav, Hanna, and Ike should most definitely be retired, Dolly and Paloma have a 50/50 chance, and Fay, Kyle, and Omar are the wildcards.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Good morning everyone. At sunrise there were some clouds, but it has cleared out and I am looking at another beautiful day here on Indian River.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


The fact they didn't retire Emily puzzles me. Gustav will most definitely be retired. I've got some experience with this stuff, and trust me, I know.

Emily did 400 million dollars in damage in Mexico
Which is relatively low for two landfalls at cat 4 then cat 3 but Emily has a trend to make major hurricane landfalls and not retire.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2372
Morning/afternoon guys and girls
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Good morning - foggy here today. Not much of temperature change in Miami, suppose to be cooler tonight

Something wrong with putting up Christams lights and sweating!
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vort!!!!!! Wassup, honey?!?!?!?!

MissNadia...How ya been?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Greetings all....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
No, its OK, it was just my wife's car! hahaha
Be Back Later.
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WOW, you are here, Hi there. NOT MY CAR. I think they are here!!! LOL
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Well, apparently not, OK, I'm out of here, see you guys this afternoon. LOL
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Quoting RTLSNK:
Morning MissNadia, we finally ended up on the same blog at the same time! Have'nt seen your gooses yet, have some decoys in the back yard, will let you know when they arrive!

You will know when they show...I have them trained to take a dump on the cars before landing..HaHa don't get cold cleaning up the mess!!!!
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Morning MissNadia, we finally ended up on the same blog at the same time! Have'nt seen your gooses yet, have some decoys in the back yard, will let you know when they arrive!
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Morning IKE, 30* F in Macon this morning, no sign of MissNadia's Canadian Geese yet, they flew the coop yesterday, Pottery wants to BBQ the big one. LOL
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Morning from coastal N.C. 39F
Chilly day with clear skies
Wind is NW at 10 knots
Forecast for sunny skies with a high of 44!
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146. IKE
Mostly clear skies....albeit cold....in the SE USA this morning.....36.9 degrees at my house....

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145. IKE
Long-term discussion from Birmingham,AL....

LONG TERM...TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

HIGHS ON TUESDAY COULD REACH 70 OVER THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE AREA.
A DEEPENING TROUGH WILL SET UP OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS TUESDAY
PUSHING A COLD FRONT IN OUR DIRECTION TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY
MORNING. THIS SYSTEM CONTINUES TO LOOK MORE IMPRESSIVE WITH EACH
MODEL RUN. THE GFS IS NOW FORECAST A 70 KT LLJ TO DEVELOP OVER NORTH
ALABAMA BY 06Z WEDNESDAY. SURFACE BASED INSTABILITY HAS ALSO
INCREASED AND WILL BUMP UP THE WORDING IN THE HWO TO SEVERE. WILL
CONTINUE TO WATCH THIS SYSTEM UNFOLD AS SOME TIMING AND INTENSITY
FLUCTUATIONS ARE LIKELY OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE GFS WHICH PUSHES THE FRONT THROUGH EAST
ALABAMA BY NOON WEDNESDAY AND UPPER TROUGH THROUGH THE AREA
WEDNESDAY EVENING. HIGHS WEDNESDAY WILL PROBABLY COME DURING THE
MORNING AS THE FRONT IS PROGRESSING THROUGH THE STATE. LOW LEVEL
CLOUD COVER AND BRISK NORTHERLY WINDS WILL KEEP TEMPERATURES IN
CHECK OR POSSIBLY CAUSE THEM TO FALL THROUGH THE DAY. WEDNESDAY
NIGHT WILL BE COLD WITH LOWS IN THE 20S AND THURSDAY HIGHS WILL
MAINLY BE IN THE 40S. A SLIGHT WARM UP FRIDAY AND SATURDAY BUT
TEMPERATURES SHOULD STILL REMAIN BELOW AVERAGE.

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144. IKE
Long-term morning discussion from Tallahassee,FL....

LONG TERM...
(TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY)...THERE IS BETTER AGREEMENT THIS
MORNING BETWEEN THE EURO AND THE GFS WITH RESPECT TO THE NEXT
VIGOROUS SHORT WAVE FORECAST TO SWEEP EASTWARD ACROSS THE AREA BY
MID WEEK. AN INCREASING RETURN FLOW AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM WILL
RESULT IN A FAIRLY RAPID WARMUP BEGINNING MONDAY AND CONTINUING
TUESDAY...WITH A CORRESPONDING SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN LOW LEVEL
MOISTURE. THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES IN THE CONFIGURATION OF A
SURFACE LOW FORECAST TO DEVELOP ALONG THE FRONT IN RESPONSE TO THE
APPROACH OF THE STRONG UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM ON WEDNESDAY...WITH THE
STRONGEST DYNAMICS STILL FORECAST TO BE LOCATED SOMEWHAT TO THE
WEST OF THE GREATEST INSTABILITY. HOWEVER, THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
WAVE ALONG THE FRONT WILL HELP TO SET THE STAGE A SIGNIFICANT RAIN
EVENT WEDNESDAY. WIDESPREAD 1 TO 3 INCH AMOUNTS ARE
POSSIBLE...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS...AS THE INITIAL COLD FRONT
PUSHES EASTWARD INTO THE AREA...FOLLOWED BY THE POSSIBILITY OF
ISOLATED SEVERE CONVECTION AS THE UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM APPROACHES
AND SWEEPS ACROSS THE AREA WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON INTO EARLY
THURSDAY. BOTH MODELS ARE IN AGREEMENT THAT PRECIPITATION WILL
SHIFT RAPIDLY EASTWARD BY THURSDAY AS THE SURFACE AND UPPER LEVEL
SYSTEMS COME INTO PHASE AND THE SURFACE LOW DEVELOPS AND MOVES
RAPIDLY NORTHEASTWARD. BEHIND THE FRONT A STRONG SURGE OF COLDER
DRIER AIR WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE TRI STATE AREA...WITH THE
POSSIBILITY OF TEMPERATURES APPROACHING THE FREEZING MARK ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE AREA THURSDAY MORNING...AND WIDESPREAD FROST AND
FREEZING TEMPERATURES ON FRIDAY MORNING.
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I agree media sux BIG TIME.


can someone tell me when is the next cool blast coming (or an est.) TIA

I know theres one from dec 10-13ish

correct me if im wrong and also if you can which I dont know now if anyone could but the next one after that

again TIA

PS I'll be in bed by the time you read this but I will read back here to see any answers
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Quoting system545:
you are a very smart man but gustav does not deserve reitrement if they did nto retire emily they most certainyl will nto retire gustav and you wil se it in 2014


The fact they didn't retire Emily puzzles me. Gustav will most definitely be retired. I've got some experience with this stuff, and trust me, I know.
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system545, do you know 1990's Hurricane Klaus? It only caused $1 million in damage ($1.6 million in 2008 dollars) and was still retired because of flooding rains that fell on Martinique.
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Quoting system545:
you are a very smart man but gustav does not deserve reitrement if they did nto retire emily they most certainyl will nto retire gustav and you wil se it in 2014

You don't know whether Emily caused a lot of damage. According to Wikipedia, it only caused $550 million (2005 USD) [$610 million (2008 USD)] in damage. Storms that are deadly and destructive can be retired.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Gustav had better be retired. A 212 mph wind gust in Pinar Del Rio, as well as a devastating blow for the Louisiana coast, and inland as well.

Don't let media reports fool you - while it's true NOLA was largely spared from Gustav, they aren't the only spot in the state that matter. Baton Rouge saw its worst natural disaster since Betsy in 1965. Indeed, Gustav was worse than Betsy, which by itself was bad enough.

I was down here for Gustav, and believe me, the media couldn't be more wrong when they say it spared Louisiana.
you are a very smart man but gustav does not deserve reitrement if they did nto retire emily they most certainyl will nto retire gustav and you wil se it in 2014
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Quoting hurricanemaniac123:
Gustav is most likely going to be retired.

It caused 8.3 billion dollars in damage and 100+ deaths!


Gustav had better be retired. A 212 mph wind gust in Pinar Del Rio, as well as a devastating blow for the Louisiana coast, and inland as well.

Don't let media reports fool you - while it's true NOLA was largely spared from Gustav, they aren't the only spot in the state that matter. Baton Rouge saw its worst natural disaster since Betsy in 1965. Indeed, Gustav was worse than Betsy, which by itself was bad enough.

I was down here for Gustav, and believe me, the media couldn't be more wrong when they say it spared Louisiana.
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136. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Subject: Deep Depression over Bay of Bengal weakened into a depression

At 5:30 AM IST, The deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved westwards, weakened into a depression. The Depression lays centred near 8.5N 83.0E, or about 450 km east-southeast of Adiramapatinam, 600 km southeast of Chennai and 180 km east of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).

Dvorak Intensity: T1.5

The system is likely to move in a west-northwesterly direction across north Sri Lanka and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Tuticorin and Nagapattinam, close to Tondi by Monday morning.

Based on the latest analysis with Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and other conventional techniques, the estimated future track and intensity of the system are given below:

Forecast and Intensity
======================
Current (05:30 IST) 8.5N 83.0E - 25 knots
12 HRS: 9.0N 81.0E - 25 knots
24 HRS: 9.5N 79.0E - 25 knots
36 HRS: 10.0N 77.5E - 20 knots
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Quoting futuremet:


lol, I'm banned from your blog


That's fixed now.
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Quoting MissNadia:

Will your blog include Wilmington N.C,?


I do consider that to be one of the mid-Atlantic states and not part of the southeast. I think Sully or Blizzard would do a better job there.
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I see the nut bags are back .Global warming season.Biggest hoax there is.All about money ,power ,and control of people's life.Freedom will soon be gone for all people,except those who push this hoax on the world.FREEDOM,FREEDOM!!!!
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Quoting hurricanemaniac123:
Gustav is most likely going to be retired.

It caused 8.3 billion dollars in damage and 100+ deaths!

nobody can deny that
BUT Dolly, Fay, Hanna, Omar, and Paloma are still debated and every one has a chance to retire. Although Hanna and Paloma I think are the most obvious choices
Good night sleep tight
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2372
Gustav is most likely going to be retired.

It caused 8.3 billion dollars in damage and 100+ deaths!
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Our flurries have turned into snow it piled up 2mm but it is still an official snow!!! and it's not even Dec 10 this snow season is going to be great!!!
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2372
post 122. Bravo!
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Pensacola Doug, Are these observations you've made from actual measurements you've made or just a hunch because it seems that it's been cooler lately? The global models show significant planet-wide warming. This is where the belief in Global Warming comes from and it cannot be discounted just because one portion of the plant happens to have a cooler than normal year. Why is it that whenever I hear someone deny the existence of Global Warming, upon further examination, the person turns out to be politically conservative? Could it be because of the nature of conservatism to fear change or to fear the future? Climate Change is a fact. Denying it, isn't going to make it go away just because we want so much to continue to drive our large vehicles large distances to accomodate our current living arrangement. Global Warming deniers are being discounted because they have failed to show statistically accurate and relevant data showing that planet-wide warming is not taking place. The believers, on the other hand, have done so.
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120. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Subject: Deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal:

At 23:30 PM IST, The Deep Depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved westwards and lay centered over southwest Bay of Bengal near 8.5N 83.5E, about 480 km east-southeast of Adiramapatinam, 600 km southeast of Chennai and 250 km east of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). The system is likely to intensify further and move in a west-northwesterly direction across north Sri Lanka and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Tuticorin and Nagapattinam, close to Tondi by Monday morning.

Based on the latest analysis with Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and other conventional techniques, the estimated future track and intensity of the system are given in the Table below:

Forecast and Intensity
======================

Current (2330 IST) 8.5N 83.5E - 30 knots
24 HRS: 9.0N 80.5E - 35 knots
36 HRS: 9.5N 79.0E - 35 knots
48 HRS: 10.0N 77.5E - 25 knots

---
Still looking to be given a name...
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chance for retirement

arthur 0%
]
bertha0%

cristobal 0%

dolly 43 %


eduard 0%

fay 45%

gustav 0% only caused 8.3 billion

hanna 595

ike 100%

josephine 0%


kyle 0%

laura 0%

marco 0%


nana 0%

omar 23%

paloma 50%




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117. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Disturbance Summary (2100z 06DEC)
==========================================
At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression 02F (1004 hPa) located near 25.0S 169.0W is reported moving south at 10 knots. Position GOOD based on Multispectral Infrared/Visible Satellite with animation. Sea surface temperature is around 29C.

Additional Information
==========================
Mid-upper level convection remains sheared to the east and south of Tropical Depression TWO. The ystem lies under a 250 hPa sub-tropical jet stream axis [righthand exit] in a moderately sheared environment with high shear south of 02F. Global models [UKGS/US/EC] are showing a southerly movement into cooler temperature waters with little deepening in the next 12 to 24 hours. Tropical Depression TWO is expected to become a mid-latituded low pressure area in the next 12 hours.

POTENTIAL FOR TD 02F TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS REMAINS LOW.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Southeast Weather Blog. I'm starting this blog back up again and will try to provide updates every other day.

Will your blog include Wilmington N.C,?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Southeast Weather Blog. I'm starting this blog back up again and will try to provide updates every other day.


lol, I'm banned from your blog
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting clwstmchasr:
We all know that much of the central and east US have been way below normal since Nov 1 - the weather channel said that even though we have been much below normal that it does not signify a change in global warming. I find it interesting that if we were much above normal that everyone would blame it on global warming.
I think a lot of people here, whenever this GW debate comes up, have agreed that individual changes in excess heat or cooling in one area over a relatively short time (i. e. one season) are not real indicators of whether global warming is taking place. Most of the discussion here has moved on to more long term trend indicators.

Unfortunately there ARE still people out there who think that a hot summer or a cold winter in their area is a sign that the globe is warming or cooling. . . . LOL

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.