Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-78
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
 
05 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).
A global historical data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT)
Tobias Geiger1, Katja Frieler1, and David N. Bresch2,3 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research, Telegraphenberg A 56, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich, Universitätstr. 22, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
3Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Operation Center 1, P.O. Box 257, 8058 Zurich-Airport, Switzerland
Abstract. Tropical cyclones pose a major risk to societies worldwide with about 22 million directly-affected people and damages of $29 billion on average per year over the last 20 years. While data on observed cyclones tracks (location of the center) and wind speeds is publically available these data sets do not contain information about the spatial extent of the storm and people or assets exposed. Here, we apply a simplified wind field model to estimate the areas exposed to wind speeds above 34, 64, and 96 knots. Based on available spatially-explicit data on population densities and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) we estimate 1) the number of people and 2) the sum of assets exposed to wind speeds above these thresholds accounting for temporal changes in historical distribution of population and assets (TCE-hist) and assuming fixed 2015 patterns (TCE-2015). The associated country-event level exposure data (TCE-DAT) covers the period 1950 to 2015 and is freely available at http://doi.org/10.5880/pik.2017.005. It is considered key information to 1) assess the contribution of climatological versus socio-economic drivers of changes in exposure to tropical cyclones, 2) estimate changes in vulnerability from the difference in exposure and reported damages and calibrate associated damage functions, and 3) build improved exposure-based predictors to estimate higher-level societal impacts such as long-term effects on GDP, employment, or migration.

We validate the adequateness of our methodology by comparing our exposure estimate to estimated exposure obtained from reported wind fields available since 1988 for the United States.

We expect that the free availability of the underlying model and TCE-DAT will make research on tropical cyclone risks more accessible to non-experts and stakeholders.


Citation: Geiger, T., Frieler, K., and Bresch, D. N.: A global historical data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT), Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-78, in review, 2017.
Tobias Geiger et al.
Tobias Geiger et al.

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A global data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT)
T. Geiger, K. Frieler, and D. N. Bresch
https://doi.org/10.5880/pik.2017.005
Tobias Geiger et al.

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Short summary
Tropical cyclones (TCs) pose a major risk to societies worldwide but very limited data exists on their socio-economic impacts. Here, we apply a common wind field model to comprehensively and consistently estimate the number of people and the sum of assets exposed by all TCs between 1950 and 2015. This information is crucial to assess changes in societal vulnerabilites, to calibrate TC damage functions, and to make risk data more accessible to non-experts and stakeholders.
Tropical cyclones (TCs) pose a major risk to societies worldwide but very limited data exists on...
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