The report proposes a risk-based framework for assessment of economic damage risks and costs caused by tropical cyclones due to the increases in wind speeds resulting from climate change. In addition to the direct losses, cyclones cause tremendous social disruption for extended periods of time. The framework contains the following key ingredients – probabilistic modeling of the occurrence and intensity of cyclones, time-dependent increase in annual maximum wind speed from enhanced greenhouse conditions (global warming), and residential construction vulnerability function to represent the economic risks and losses conditioned in wind speed. Regional dynamics including increasing house numbers built with different building codes is integrated into the framework. Residential construction in North Queensland in Australia is chosen to demonstrate the potential impact of climate change on wind damage estimation from a regional perspective. The implications of climate change on building codes and construction practice are discussed. This framework can form the basis for improvements in construction practices and building codes to adapt to potential impacts of climate change, appropriate underwriting by the insurance industry, and sociopolitical response of the community to wind hazards.
Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability Research Report 271.11.2008