Loss Trends of Natural Catastrophes – A New Approach to the Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change

Department(s)/ Research Infrastructure
Energy, Transportation, Environment
Project Status
Completed Project
Commissioned by
European Commission
In Cooperation with
University of East Anglia (Project coordinator), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Centre for European Policy Studies, Paul Scherrer Institute, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Cambridge, Lund University u.a.
Project Manager
Claudia Kemfert
Project Team/Contacts at DIW Berlin

Frequency and damage of weather-related natural catastrophes increase clearly, as for example the annual statistics of Munich Reinsurance show. The causes are well-known. There is the socio-economic development and the natural and man-made caused climate change. So far it is not however satisfying clarified to what extent frequency and damage can be attributed to the particular causes. Particularly the contribution of climate change is disputed. A quantification must be however of interest, if one will cause-fairly and efficiently react in disaster precaution and climate protection.
The project wants to answer the question, on which damage we must count in the future, if socio-economic as well as climatic changes will be considered.
As the first step, the impact of the respective factors is estimated from data of historically observed events applying econometrical methods of estimation (LSQ-method). In the second step these knowledge is built into existing economic models for the estimation of future damage. And future damage from natural catastrophes will be estimated for certain IPCC scenarios. The estimation will be done exemplified for tropical cyclones, which affected the mainland of the United States. Compared to current methods damage from tropical cyclone events are divided cause-fairly on socio-economic and climatic related factors. Besides the data needed for the estimation on tropical cyclones is compiled for the first time.

In cooperation with Munich Re Group