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Workshop Report:Climate Change and Disaster Losses

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | 5:13:00 PM
Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate logo

Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses:
Understanding and Attributing Trends and Projections
Final Workshop Report


All files are in pdf format

  Short Brochure [1.3 mb]
  Full Workshop Report [8 mb]
  Executive Summary [116 kb]
  Summary Report [222 kb]
  White Papers [7 mb]
  Participant List and Biographies

Welcome to the Climate Change and Disaster Losses Workshop
Understanding and Attributing Trends and Projections

The economic costs of weather-related disasters have increased dramatically in recent decades. However, experts disagree about the reasons for this increase. Some think that the trend can be explained entirely by the ever-growing numbers of people and value of property in harms way. Others think that human-caused climate changes have led to more frequent and intense weather events and therefore account for some part of the increased damage.

The Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and the Geo Risks Research Department at Munich Re co-organized a workshop to bring together a diverse group of international experts in the fields of climatology and disaster research. The general questions to be answered at this workshop were:

  • What factors account for increasing costs of weather related disasters in recent decades?
  • What are the implications of these understandings, for both research and policy?

Want to Learn More?

Final workshop report is now available.
Click here for a Short Brochure.

Our goal is to prepare a report of the workshop that represents a state-of-the-art perspective.


If you cannot access any of these articles, please email us and we will send them to you.

Association of British Insurers, 2005. Financial Risks of Climate Change. Climate Risk Management and Metroeconomica Summary Report.

Brooks, H. E. and C. A. Doswell III, 2002. Deaths in the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City tornado from a historical perspective. Weather and Forecasting, Vol. 17, pp. 354-361.

Brooks, H. E. and C. A. Doswell III, 2001. Normalized damage from major tornadoes in the United States: 1890-1999. Weather and Forecasting, Vol. 16, pp. 168-176.

Chan, J. C. L. and K. S. Liu, 2004. Global Warming and Western North Pacific Typhoon Activity from an Observational Perspective. Journal of Climate, Vol. 17, No. 23, pp. 4590-4602.

Changnon, S., R.A. Pielke, Jr., D. Changnon, R.T. Sylves, and R. Pulwarty, 2000. Human Factors Explain the Increased Losses from Weather and Climate Extremes. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 437-442.

Cutter, S. L. and C. Emrich, 2005. Are Natural Hazards and Disaster Losses in the U.S. Increasing? Eos, Vol. 86, No. 41, pp. 381-396.

Easterling, D.R., G.A. Meehl, C. Parmesan, S.A. Changnon, T.R. Karl, L.O. Mearns, 2000. Climate Extremes: Observations, Modeling, and Impacts. Science, Vol. 289, pp. 2068-2074.

Easterling, D.R., J.L. Evans, P.Y. Groisman, T.R. Karl, K.E. Kunkel, and P. Ambenje, 2000. Observed Variability and Trends in Extreme Climate Events: A Brief Review. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 417-425.

Emanuel, K., 2005. Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones Over the Past 30 Years. Nature, Vol. 436, pp. 686-688.

Epstein, P.R. and E. Mills (eds.), 2005. Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions. Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA..

Epstein, P.R. and J.J. McCarthy, 2005. Reply to Pielke et al. 2005. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 86, No. 11, pp. 1483-1484.

Epstein, P.R. and J.J. McCarthy, 2004. Assessing Climate Stability. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 85, No. 12, pp. 1863-1870. (See also Pielke et al. 2005 for a response and Epstein and McCarthy 2005 for a reply.)

Goldenberg, S. B., C. W. Landsea, A. M. Mestas-Nunez, and W. M. Gray, 2001. The Recent Increase in Atlantic Hurricane Activity: Causes and Implications. Science, Vol. 293, pp. 474-479.

Graham, N. E. and H. F. Diaz, 2001. Evidence for Intensification of North Pacific Winter Cyclones since 1948. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 82, No. 9, pp. 1869-1893.

Hasselmann, K., M. Latif, G. Hooss, C. Azar, O. Edenhofer, C.C. Jaeger, O.M. Johannessen, C. Kemfert, M. Welp, and A. Wokaun, 2003. The Challenge of Long-Term Climate Change. Science, Vol. 32, 12 December, pp. 1923-1925.

Houghton, J. T., Y. Ding, D. J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P. J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C. A. Johnson, 2001. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Cambridge University Press, 882 pp.

Kemfert, C., 2005. The Economic Costs of Climate Change. DIW Berlin, Weekly Report, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 43-29.

Kemfert, C., 2005. Global Climate Protection: Immediate action will alert high costs. DIW Berlin, Weekly Report, Vol. 1, No. 12, pp. 135-141.

Kemfert, C., 2002. Global economic implications of alternative climate policy strategies. Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 5, pp. 367-384.

Knutsen, T.R. and R.E. Tuleya, 2004. Impact of CO2-Induced Warming on Simulated Hurricane Intensity and Precipitation: Sensitivity to the Choice of Climate Model and Convective Parameterization, Journal of Climate, Vol. 17, No. 18, pp. 3477-3495.

Kunkel, K.E., R.A. Pielke Jr., S.A. Changnon, 1999. Temporal Fluctuations in Weather and Climate Extremes That Cause Economic and Human Health Impacts: A Review. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 80, No. 6, pp.1077-1098.

Landsea, C.W., R. A. Pielke Jr., A. M. Mestas-Nunez and J. A. Knaff, 1999. Atlantic Basin Hurricanes: Indices of Climatic Changes. Climatic Change, Vol. 42, pp. 89-129.

Landsea, C.W., N. Nicholls, W. M. Gray, and L. A. Avila, 1996. Downward Trends in the Frequency of Intense Atlantic Hurricanes During the Past Five Decades. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 23, No. 13, pp. 1697-1700.

Landsea, C. W., 1993. A Climatology of Intense (or Major) Atlantic Hurricanes. Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 121, pp. 1703-1713.

McCarthy, J. J., O. F. Canziani, N. A. Leary, D. J. Dokken, and K. S. White, Eds., 2001. Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, 1000 pp.

Meehl, G.A., T. Karl, D.R. Easterling, S. Changnon, R. Pielke Jr., D. Changnon, J. Evans, P.Y. Groisman, T.R. Knutson, K.E. Kunkel, L.O. Mearns, C. Parmesan, R. Pulwarty, T. Root, R.T. Sylves, P. Whetton, and F. Zwiers, 2000. An Introduction to Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Observations, Socioeconomic Impacts, Terrestrial Ecological Impacts, and Model Projections. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 413-416.

Meehl, G.A., F. Zwiers, J. Evans, T. Knutson, L. Mearns, and P. Whetton, 2000. Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Issues Related to Modeling Extremes in Projections of Future Climate Change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 427-436.

Mills, E., 2005b. Reply to Pielke 2005. Science, Vol. 310, p. 1616.

Mills, E., 2005a. Insurance in a Climate of Change. Science, Vol. 309, pp. 1040-1044. (See also Pielke 2005 for a response and Mills 2005b for a reply.)

Munich Re, 2005. Annual Review: Natural Catastrophes 2004.

Munich Re, 2004. Annual Review: Natural Catastrophes 2003. 56 pp.

National Research Council, 1999. The Costs of Natural Disasters: A Framework for Assessment, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

Pielke, R.A., 2005. Attribution of Disaster Losses, Science, Vol. 310, December 9, pp. 1615. Response to "Attribution of Disaster Losses" by Evan Mills on pp. 1616.

Pielke, Jr., R.A., 2005. Making Sense of Trends in Disaster Losses, Bridges-OST's Publication on Science & Technology Policy, Vol. 7.

Pielke Jr., R.A. C. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, and R. Pasch, 2005. Hurricanes and Global Warming. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 86, No. 11, pp. 1571-1575.

Pielke, Jr., R.A., S. Agrawala, L. Bouwer, I. Burton, S. Changnon, M. Glantz, W. Hooke, R. Klein, K. Kunkel, D. Mileti, D. Sarewitz, E. Thompkins, N. Stehr, and H. von Storch, 2005. Clarifying the Attribution of Recent Disaster Losses: A Response to Epstein and McCarthy, Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, Volume 86 (10), pp. 1481-1483. Reply by P.R. Epstein and J.J. McCarthy.

Pielke Jr., R.A. and M.W. Downtown, 2000. Precipitation and Damaging Floods: Trends in the United States, 1932-97. Journal of Climate, Vol 13, No. 20, pp. 3625-3637.

Pielke Jr., R.A. and C.W. Landsea, 1998. Normalized Hurricane Damages in the United States: 1925-95. Weather and Forecasting, American Meteorological Society, Vol. 13, pp. 621-631.

Swiss Re, 2005. Natural Catastrophes and Man-Made Disasters in 2004. 40 pp.

Swiss Re, 2004. Natural Catastrophes and Man-Made Disasters in 2003. 44 pp.

Trenberth, K., 2005. Uncertainty in Hurricanes and Global Warming. Science, Vol. 308, pp. 1753-1754.

Verbout, S. M., H. E. Brooks, L. M. Leslie, and D. M. Schultz, 2006. Evolution of the US tornado database: 1954-2003. Weather and Forecasting, Vol. 21, pp. 86-93.

Webster, P. J., G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry, and H. R. Chang, 2005. Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment. Science, Vol. 309, pp. 1844-1846.

Contact Information
Other Details

Ami Nacu-Schmidt

Center for Science and Technology Policy Research
1333 Grandview Ave.
UCB 488
Boulder, CO 80309-0488

Tel: 303-735-3102
Fax: 303-735-1576

Email ami@cires.colorado.edu

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