Did adaptation strategies work? High fatalities from tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean and future vulnerability under global warming

S. Niggol Seo, Laura Bakkensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the fatalities from tropical cyclones (TC) generated in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea making landfall in India, Bangladesh, and neighboring countries. In these locations, the number of TC fatalities, on average, far outnumbers those found in the rest of the world. Applying negative binomial models, we find that TC fatalities are explained by high TC intensity, storm surge, and low income. A one unit increase in TC intensity (1 hpa) on TC fatality is commensurate with the effect of a one unit increase in income per capita (1000 INR). We also show that income growth reduces TC fatality, in part, because it increases adoption of information-based adaptation measures. Based on these results, future fatalities are projected based on forecasts from eight climate models and two income scenarios. A key result is the interplay between future increases in cyclone intensity versus income. If hurricane intensity were to increase, as predicted by three of the seven climate models, fatalities are predicted to increase dramatically in the low-income scenario. However, if income grows at a faster rate, hurricane fatality is predicted to fall in all scenarios. Therefore, economic development remains an important policy variable to mitigate future impacts from global warming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNatural Hazards
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 29 2016

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Fatality
  • North Indian Ocean
  • Storm surge
  • Tropical cyclone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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