Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes

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Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes
Scott, Tyler
Horace, Courtney
Baker, Daniel
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
Data to Policy Project Symposium
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Hurricanes have been recorded since the early 1500’s and provide valuable insights into other severe weather events and their relationship to global climate change. Not only do hurricanes cause short-term damage to property and infrastructure, they also have long-term impacts on local and state economies due to the associated damage costs. In this study, yearly temperatures from 1951-2019 were tested against yearly damage costs in millions of United States Dollars (USD) and yearly hurricane frequency to determine if there was a casual relationship between surface temperatures and greater hurricane activity. The resulting analysis finds that there is a casual relationship between an increase in global temperature and increased hurricane frequency. There is also a relevant relationship between rising temperatures and greater damage costs per year. If current climate change trends continue, these regions can expect more frequent and more damaging hurricanes. The findings suggest that policy makers and state emergency managers in hurricane-vulnerable areas should focus their efforts on hurricane mitigation strategies and climate change reduction legislation in the future.
Collected for Auraria Institutional Repository by the Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Tyler Scott.

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c1JJ u. data to policy proJect Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes Daniel Baker, Courtney Horace, & Tyler Scott The 2019 global average temperature was .99 o( above the global average mean temperatures from 1951-1980. According to the North Atlantic Hurricane Hypothesis the general global temperature has a causal relationship with Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures (Elsner, 2006) and subsequently causes greater hurricane activity. The study defines hurricane activity using data from the Power Dissipation Index which accounts for intensity and duration of hurricanes over the course of a hurricane season . Our research builds on this study and asks two questions : 1) Does climate change cause increased North Atlantic Hurricane frequency? 2) Does climate change cause increased damage costs of North Atlantic Hurricanes? Our research found that there is a causal relationship between an increase in global temperature and increased hurricane frequency. We also found that there is a relationship between increasing temperature and increasing hurricane damage costs, although in our research the relationship was not statistically significant. These findings are important to local and state level policy makers in hurricane vulnerable areas. If current climate change trends continue, these regions can expect more frequent and more damaging hurricanes. Policy makers will want to take this information into consideration when drafting mitigation policy. We recommend increased mitigation spending as well as climate change reduction legislation. Access the full project


REASEARCH ANALYTIC METHODS PUAD 5003 E01 + PROFESSOR SERENA KIM INTRODUCTION The 2019 average temperature was . 99 ºC higher than the average temperatures from 1951 1980 ( 14 ºC) . According to the North Atlantic Hurricane Hypothesis, rising temperatures should correspond with a rise in severity and frequency of hurricanes . This study will explore the veracity of that hypothesis . In a broader context, hurricanes serve as a proxy for other severe weather events and the associated costs of natural emergencies and disasters caused by climate change . PROBLEM To allow policy makers in hurricane vulnerable areas to understand the increased risk of hurricanes posed by climate change and make informed mitigation efforts this paper will consider the following questions . What are the effects of climate change on North American Hurricane activity? 1. Does climate change lead to increased frequency of North Atlantic Hurricanes? 2. Does climate change lead to increased damage costs associated with North Atlantic Hurricanes? METHODS Data was collected from : The National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA) on yearly climate anomalies and global mean temperature from 1951 2019 . The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) on North Atlantic Hurricanes from 1951 2019 , to determine number of yearly hurricanes and cost of damage (we controlled for inflation by converting damage costs to costs as they would be in 2020 ) Using the data from both NASA and NOAA, we conducted a quantitative analysis to determine the correlation between change in global temperature and hurricane activity, by performing the Linear Regression and Time Series Regression (ARIMA) : Regression Model used Yearly General Temperature as the dependent variable and the Number of Hurricanes per year, Total Storms per year, and Damage Cost in 2020 Millions of Dollars USD per year as the independent variables . POLICY PROPOSAL We propose that policy makers increase spending on mitigations like updating insurance programs, building codes and investing in engineering solutions like flood plain restoration . We also propose that policy makers lobby federal legislatures for more aggressive climate change policy to reduce the effects of climate change . The most significant barrier to these policies is cost . Spending on mitigation could require increasing taxes and consumer spending on insurance . The federal government could also provide funds to states, or siphon off funds, redirecting them for this purpose . Climate change legislation also hinges on fundamentally restructuring the economy and energy infrastructure . By looking at how different localities spend on mitigation and what kind of measures they implement we can determine the cost and efficacy of different mitigations and policies . A 2019 NIBS report found that spending on disaster mitigation resulted in savings across the board . For hurricane mitigation, the cost benefit relationship was 4 : 1 . We, believe that communicating the importance of mitigation spending and climate policy which are long term solutions, is best conducted in the context of natural disasters and their short term human cost. This type of framing will highlight the immediate benefits of such policies. BIBLIOGRAPHY . 1. Elsner, James B . in Support of the Climate Change Atlantic Hurricane Hypothesis . Geophysical Research Letters, vol . 33 , no . 16 , 2006 , doi : 10 . 1029 / 2006 gl 026869 . 2. NASA/GISS . Land Ocean Temperature Index . NASA, NASA, 2020 , data . giss . nasa . gov/gistemp/graphs/graph_data/Global_Mean_Estimates_based_ on_Land_and_Ocean_Data/graph . txt . 3. NOAA . Summaries of North Atlantic Storms . AnnualHurricaneSummaries, 2020 , www . aoml . noaa . gov/general/lib/lib 1 /nhclib/mwreviews . html . 4. National Institute of Building Sciences . National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington , DC, 2019 , Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves : 2019 Report . CLIMATE CHANGE AND ATLANTIC HURRICANES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND GLOBAL WARMING Daniel Baker, Courtney Horace, Tyler Scott ANALYSIS At the 95 % Confidence Level, with every degree increase in global temperatures, the North Atlantic can expect 2 . 78 more Hurricanes per year and 9 . 32 Total Storms (Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Subtropical Storms, and Tropical Depressions) . With P values of less than 5 % / . 05 , these results are statistically significant . CONCLUSION This study finds that for every degree increase in global general temperature, there is an associated increase of 2 . 78 North Atlantic Hurricanes . The study also concludes that while there is an approximate $ 40 billion increase in damage costs for every degree increase in temperature, there are questions around the statistical significance of this finding . Further study is needed to determine what relationship there is between hurricane frequency and damage costs . Other factors to consider in future studies are changes in average hurricane category, changes in landfall patterns and controlling for advancements in damage mitigation technology and laws when considering damage costs . Regarding Damage Cost in 2020 USD, for every increase in degree, there's an increase in $ 41 , 547 , 930 , 000 in damage (the raw numbers were done in the millions) . Via Linear Regression, the P Value is less than 5 % / . 05 [it's at . 006 ] . While the Linear Regression is statistically significant, the Time Series ARIMA Regression revealed a P value of 7 . 6 % / . 076 which would be make it not statistically significant . The inconsistencies in the p values between the Linear Regression and the Time Series ARIMA are due to the outliers in yearly damage costs . Overall, there was a high range in damage costs with the lowest damage cost being $ 0 and the highest being $ 282 , 054 in Million USD . Despite the difference p values, they reveal the necessity for an increase in mitigation efforts .